VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report. We will correct the Votes and Proceedings dated 6th April, 2017. Page 1, 2, 3,... 12 -- Mr Andrew Dari Chiwitey — rose —
Hon Member, do you stand on a point of correction?
Mr Speaker, I was in the House yesterday, but my name has been captured on page 8, item numbered 13, under the column of Hon Members who were absent. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Any other correction? Page 13 ... 17.
Markin — rose
Yes, Hon Afenyo- Markin?
Hon Member, when we have passed that stage, you apologise before you proceed.
Yes. Hon Member, you may now go on.
The Table Office to note. Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 6th April, 2017 as corrected is hereby admitted as the true record of proceedings.
At the Commencement of Public Business -- Hon Deputy Majority Leader, may I know if any of the items are ready. Otherwise, I would like us to suspend Sitting until such time as they would be ready, then we will proceed.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, we have passed Statements. We are at Public Business. So, if you are not ready just indicate and we proceed to suspend Sitting.
Mr Speaker, yesterday, we recommended a Statement by Hon Abena Durowaa Mensah to be taken by your goodself.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, you would see that in my discretion, I have gone past Statements. If there is none ready, I would prefer that we suspend Sitting and we come and do Business.
Very well, Mr Speaker, as it pleases you. [Pause.] Mr Speaker, I have just got indication from the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee that item numbered 4 (b) is ready to be laid by him.
Item numbered 4 (b)?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, item numbered 4 (a) could also be laid by the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Item numbered 4 (a) -- Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation? By the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation (Dr Anthony A. Osei) (on behalf of the Minister for Finance) -- (a) Loan Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Societe General Ghana Limited for an amount of the cedi equivalent of two million United States dollars (US$2,000,000) to procure means of transport for the official use of Members of the Council of State. Referred to the Finance Committee
Mr Speaker, as earlier indicated, other Motions on the Order Paper are still not ready. So, we could suspend the House and come back later. Thank you.
So, we suspend Sitting as we get the other Papers ready?
Rightly so, Mr Speaker, for an hour or two.
Mr Speaker, can we get an indication of how long the suspension would be, so that we prepare ourselves towards it?
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon Members, order!
Mr Speaker, if we may take item numbered 5 on page 2 of the Order Paper.
Item numbered 5, page 2 on the Order Paper -- Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwith- standing the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion to approve the nomination of Hon Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin to replace Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah who has resigned his seat as a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, at the ECOWAS Parliament in accordance with the Protocol relating to the establishment of the ECOWAS Parliament may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
The procedural Motion has been taken and I believe we would now go to the substantive Motion which is item numbered 6 on page 3 of the Order Paper. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the nomination of Hon Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin to replace Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah, who has resigned his seat as a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, at the ECOWAS Parliament in accordance with the Protocol relating to the establishment of the ECOWAS Parliament.
Hon Majority Leader, would you not say a word or two, and if so, why?
Mr Speaker, I thought if the Motion was seconded, I could come back with explanations, but if you would indulge me, I would say a word or two. Mr Speaker, the House by a Motion and a Resolution, constituted an eight (8) member delegation to represent Ghana's Parliament at the ECOWAS Parliament. Unfortunately, when they went there, there was a problem involving the delegation and one of the Hon Members whose name was not on the delegation that was constituted by the House, found himself there. Indeed, his own membership was supported by the protocol of the ECOWAS Parliament, even though in an earlier discussion, the caucus that the Hon Member belonged to had had some discussions with him and we thought that sequel to the discussions, we needed to reconstitute the delegation. Mr Speaker, because of the mix-up, when they went there, there was a near embarrassment to Ghana's Parliament. The Hon Afenyo-Markin, who was originally part of it saved the situation by resigning; in other words, he did not get to be sworn-in and he withdrew because he was not sworn-in to have created the way for him to resign. He withdrew. The constitutive Act and the protocol of the ECOWAS Parliament provides that Hon Members of Parliament who belong to the Executive, cannot be part of the Parliament of the ECOWAS Community. Mr Speaker, the Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah, who represented Ghana, has since been made an Hon Deputy Minister, and that then creates one vacancy. The Leadership of the Caucus to which the Hon O. B. Amoah belongs met and suggested that we fill that vacancy with the Hon Alexander Kwamena Afenyo- Markin. Mr Speaker, that is what we have done and that is the intent of the Motion captured as item numbered 6 on the Order Paper. Question proposed.
Hon Members, you have heard the Hon Majority Leader. Anybody to second the Motion?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in so doing, make a few comments. Indeed, in early February this year, this House, on the authority of the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana, nominated eight Hon Members of Parliament to represent the Ghanaian Parliament at the ECOWAS Parliament and five of these Hon Members came from the Majority side while three came from the Minority side. I would first of all say that I was an Hon Member of that delegation and on the first day that we reported, we were supposed to have been sworn-in into the ECOWAS Parliament, but we were advised that, that swearing in could not take place because, instead of eight (8) Hon Members of Parliament from Ghana, we had nine Hon Members of Parliament as explained by the Hon Majority Leader. Mr Speaker, according to the rules of procedure and the protocol of the ECOWAS Parliament, one of the Hon Members needed to stand down and Hon Alexander Afenyo-Markin offered to stand down to make it possible for the remaining delegation of eight Hon Members to be sworn-in. The Hon Afenyo-Markin received a lot of applause from the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and now that Hon O. B. Amoah has been appointed to the Executive position in our Government, there is the need for a replacement. I believe that it is just in order, that the Hon Afenyo-Markin who was affected at the time should be restored to this position. Mr Speaker, I know the Hon Afenyo- Markin as a very dynamic young man, very enthusiastic and with a lot of zeal and I believe that his presence in the ECOWAS Parliament as part of the Ghanaian team would inure positively to our performance in the ECOWAS Parliament.
Hon Members, I am tempted to allow only one Hon Member from each side of the House because, this is a very straightforward matter and we have other items to deal with. So, I recognise you; you were on your feet, Hon Member.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I rise to support the Motion and make a terse comment. Mr Speaker, first of all, I would personally want to congratulate Leadership for having brought this matter to this level. We were all not too happy when at that large stage, it appeared that the Parliament of Ghana nearly suffered some setback. So, concerns were raised in this Chamber and I am particularly happy that this matter has been resolved. Clearly, I believe that providence has made it possible for Hon Afenyo-Markin to go back to the ECOWAS Parliament, as he was billed to appear. I would want to appeal, that lessons should be learnt and not to dig this matter up again. However, I recall that I had engaged my respected Hon Leader about it and he made it clear that arrangements were made behind the scenes to ensure that a thing like this never popped up again. It was most unfortunate that it came up and so, let us learn our lessons and ensure that the Parliament of Ghana does not suffer anything like this again. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion. I am grateful.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, my issue has to do with a clarification and I would want your guidance on this subject matter. We all remember that this House passed a Resolution and nominated eight people to represent the House at the ECOWAS Parliament and whatever happened there is not before this House. Mr Speaker, so, I just would want the clarification so that we would know what we are dealing with. This is because he was part of the eight-member delegation and somebody -- before us we know that he is an Hon Member of the ECOWAS Parliament. Mr Speaker, again and per our records, he is being nominated to go and replace Hon O. B. Amoah. Mr Speaker, I am a bit confused so, if you could guide us so that we could proceed on this tangent. Thank you very much.
Hon Member, I thought that the explanation was given early on by the Hon Majority Leader. Maybe, at that time, your attention had not been drawn to it, but I also gave an indication that I was going to permit one contribution from each side of the House because we would have to move on to other issues. I could see that you are rather showing more interest in the issue than I thought, so I would just plead with the Hon Majority Leader to take this point down and when he listens to the others, he could explain the situation in his winding up.
Unless it is the same matter that Hon Members would want to raise -- it is not the same? All right, Hon Minority Chief Whip?
Hon Majority Leader, let me listen to Hon Ablakwa.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful and I would be exceedingly brief. I just want to draw the attention of the House, that the Resolution which was approved by this House does not have the name of Hon Opare-Ansah. His name was not part of the original eight (8)- member delegation that the Rt Hon Speaker communicated to the ECOWAS Parliament. Now, by some good providence, Hon O. B. Amoah has been appointed, so Hon Afenyo-Markin, as this Motion suggests, is going to replace Hon O. B. Amoah. Mr Speaker, but that does not bring up the name of Hon Opare-Ansah and so I just want to draw the attention of the House. I do not know if we may have to amend that Resolution or find a way of including Hon Opare-Ansah's name for the records of this House, so that same would be communicated to the ECOWAS Parliament. If not, in all of this, Hon Opare- Ansah's name would still be missing in the equation. Mr Speaker, I believe that I should draw the attention of the House to that issue. Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
This is a matter that the Hon Majority Leader could easily explain. Please, I would permit the Hon Majority Leader, after that we would move to another item.
Mr Speaker, firstly, I would respond to what the Hon Minority Chief Whip indicated. It is for that reason, that we want to deal with it today before we adjourn because we know that they would have a Meeting during mid May before the House reconvenes. That is why we have to deal with it today. Mr Speaker, if Hon Ablakwa was listening to me, I said that we had agreed to reconstitute the group in early 2016,
Hon Majority Leader, are we ready for the Resolution?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that WHEREAS under article 5 of the Protocol relating to the Community Parliament of ECOWAS, a total of eight (8) seats have been allotted to the Parliament of Ghana out of a total of one hundred and twenty (120) seats for the entire sixteen (16) member ECOWAS Community; UNDER subclause (ii) of clause 1 of article 7 of the said Protocol, elected Representatives to the Community Parliament of ECOWAS shall be drawn from the National Assemblies of Member States or their equi- valent institutions or organs which shall elect such members from among themselves; UNDER the said Protocol and the Rules of Procedure of the ECOWAS Parliament, a member appointed to carry out executive function in a Member State should resign as a member. NOW THEREFORE, this Honour- able House resolves that Hon Alexander Kwamena Afenyo- Markin to replace Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah who having been appointed as a Deputy Minister of State has resigned his seat as a member at the ECOWAS Parliament in accordance with the said Protocol and the Rules of Procedure.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Our Hon Colleague who is not present now -- He is not present in the House, but I just would want to commend him for what he did at the ECOWAS Parliament. I hope that he would continue his good works at the Parliament for and on behalf of Ghana. Even though at the ECOWAS Parliament he was not representing Ghana. He was representing the ECOWAS sub-region. He was not there representing Ghana. He is there as a Member of the ECOWAS Parliament, and so he was representing the ECOWAS sub-region. I would want to repeat this, because in some submissions, I heard people talking about him representing Ghana. No, that is not the position, according to the law. Hon Members, we would move to the next item. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion to approve the nomination of Hon Cynthia Mamle Morrison (Mrs) to replace Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo (Ms), who has been appointed Minister of State, as a representative of the Parliament of Ghana at the Pan-African Parliament may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the nomination of Hon Cynthia Mamle Morrison (Mrs), to replace Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo (Ms), who has been appointed Minister of State, as a representative of the Parliament of Ghana at the Pan-African Parliament. Mr Speaker, in moving this Motion, I would want to reiterate the point that the Protocol and Conventions establishing the Pan-African Parliament, just like the Protocols and Conventions establishing the ECOWAS Parliament, disallow Members of the Executive from being Members of the Pan-African Parliament. Mr Speaker, these Conventions and Protocols were crafted without taking into consideration the peculiar situation of Ghana's Parliament, where Hon Members of Parliament serve as Ministers of State. On the continent of Africa and in all other Parliaments, Ministers come from outside Parliament. So, it is assumed that a
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and to correct an impression just created by the Hon Majority Leader. Mr Speaker, it is not only Ghana that has this current arrangement. At least, I had been at the Pan-African Parliament for some time. We have a number of countries that have had similar situations, and the one that is fresh is Sierra Leone, where one of our Hon Colleagues who was a Member of Parliament later became a Minister and therefore had to be withdrawn. Mr Speaker, one of the main reasons why the Pan-African Parliament Protocol has this arrangement is the struggle to keep Parliaments stronger. It is just the principle of keeping the Parliament stronger, without heavy influence of the Executive. Mr Speaker, if we look at the structure of Pan-African Parliament, up till date, we continue to struggle to get our Parliament to even approve the Budget of the African Union Commission (AUC). Sometimes, they would approve it and just send a copy to us. We continue to struggle with this. That is why in the revised protocol we jealously tried to protect and guard against members of the Executive also being members of the Parliament. Mr Speaker, it is with a lot of regret that our Colleague the Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo is leaving us. Even the first Meeting she attended, the enthusiasm on the Committee on Foreign Relations in the Pan-African Parliament, she warmed herself to the admiration of most of our Hon Colleagues in the Pan-African Parliament, and only after just one Meeting she has to be changed and moved into the Executive. However, Mr Speaker, let me say that this is one of the main challenges the Pan- African Parliament continues to have today. Virtually every meeting that we go to, we have not less than 10 Members sworn in as new Members. Therefore, the Pan-African Parliament always continues to be young because members either move to the Executive and others, lose elections. That is why it is important that we make efforts to get 28 countries in Africa to ratify the Protocol so that we could have permanent Members who would be able to get the institution to grow. Mr Speaker, even though it had been almost twelve to thirteen years, the Parliament is still very young, having new Members almost every year. I do not believe that with this trend the Pan- African Parliament would grow, looking at this clear example, where our Hon Colleague, Adwoa Safo, just after one meeting leaving. Now, when we go back, I know a lot of people from that Committee would be asking of her whereabouts. Mr Speaker, I reserve my comments about other things, but I wish her well, and I wish our new Hon Colleague who is joining us in the Pan-African Parliament well. I hope that the Pan-African Parliament will continue to grow from strength to strength. Question proposed.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and to congratulate Leadership of the House. I am particularly excited that the replacement to Hon Adwoa Safo is another female, and not only a female, but a first term Member of Parliament. It is very encouraging to see that the Leadership of the House is giving opportunities to females and to first term Members of Parliament or younger Members of Parliament who have joined us. I hope that this trend would continue so that it would encourage many young Members of Parliament, so that they would continue to give off their best and to represent our Parliament very well. I would want to congratulate Hon Adwoa Safo for serving us very well, from all the reports that we have heard, and to also encourage Hon Cynthia Mamle Morrision, that there is considerable experience from the Pan-African Parliament; Hon Muntaka, Hon Alban Bagbin himself and many other senior Colleagues who are available to assist her, and we have no doubt that she would make Ghana proud at the Pan-African Parliament. With these few words, I congratulate Hon Mamle Morrison and I support the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that WHEREAS under article 4(2) of the Protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Econo- mic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament, each Member State shall be represen- ted in the Pan-African Parliament by five (5) Parliamentarians, at least one of whom shall be a woman; UNDER article 4(3) of the said Protocol, the representation of each Parliament shall reflect the diversity of political opinions in the national Parliament; UNDER article 5(1) of the said Protocol, the Pan-African Parlia- mentarians shall be elected or designated by the respective national Parliaments of the Member States from among their Members;
I would like to congratulate her on behalf of the House -- [Interruptions] --Pan-African Parliament, am I in a rush? -- [Laughter] -- I am in a hurry? I have been infested. We have just resolved that she should be a Member of the Pan-African Parliament, and on behalf of the Parliament of Ghana and the good people of Ghana, I would congratulate Hon Cynthia Mamle Morrsion for this singular feat. This is her first time in the House and I must say it is not easy to get this recognition. Some Hon Members still do not know her, and I would call on her to be on her feet so that Hon Members would get to know her.
Hon Member, congratulations.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Chief Whip is in a riot, and we are informed that his kingdom has come to an end. Some enterprise that he was engaged in at the Pan-African Parliament has come to an end.
Hon Majority Leader, I actually did not hear you, but I can see the Hon Minority Chief Whip on his feet. What is it?
Mr Speaker, I was only concurring to what he said. Mr Speaker, he himself, at a critical juncture disclosed to this House that he would not make some disclosures. Mr Speaker, I was just following his trail, and I know what he is about.
Whispers should remain as whispers. They should not form part of the record of our proceedings.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I refer us to the Order Paper Addendum, and to ask for the following Papers to be laid; 1(a)(i).
Order Paper Addendum, item numbered 1, Papers for presentation, 1(a)(i).
Mr Speaker, you chaired the Committee of the Whole yesterday when we met on this, and so I present the Paper on your behalf.
Item numbered 1(a) (ii)?
Mr Speaker, I think this has been inadvertently stated as belonging to the Committee of the Whole. The referral was made to the Finance Committee, and the Report is from them. Mr Speaker, so --
Hon Member, are you referring to item 1(a)(ii)?
Yes, Mr Speaker, it is item numbered 1(a) (ii). So, subject to that correction, I would want to present the Paper on behalf of the Finance Committee. By Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee) -- Report of the Committee of the Whole on Loan Agreement be- tween the Government of Ghana and Societe General Ghana Limited for an amount of the cedi equivalent of two million United States dollars (US$2,000,000), with Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, to procure means of transport for the official use of Members of the Council of State.
Hon Members, actually, this Report is from the Finance Committee, and not the Committee of the Whole. So, it should be corrected. It is from the Finance Committee, and not the Committee of the Whole.
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am a member of the Finance Committee, but we have not taken any decision in respect of this Report, so we do not know the very Report the Hon Majority Leader is referring to. Mr Speaker, initially we met and we were expecting the Members of the Finance Committee to come and brief us, but they never came. So, as we sit here we do not know what they are talking about.
Hon Members, I believe that we are grateful to you for drawing our attention to this, but I can confirm that the Chairman of the Council of State was before us yesterday, to plead with the House to take up this item because the House is most likely to adjourn sine die today, and may come in the last week of May. I agreed with them that this is quite an urgent matter for us to be able to equip the Council of State to be in motion. So, Leadership agreed that it be Tabled today. We are however, not aware that the Hon Minister for Finance failed to appear before the Committee. But my attention is drawn that it is after the laying that copies could be made available to Hon Members. Now that you have drawn our attention, we insist that it be done, because, maybe, there are some questions you would want them to explain. So, Hon Majority Leader, we would stand this down for some time, for this to be done, then later on, if everything is ready, then we could re-lay it. Hon Member, does that satisfy you?
Yes, Mr Speaker. I am very grateful for the explanation, because we were ready to support this agenda, and we demanded for the term sheets so that at least, we would know what we are approving for them. Mr Speaker, in light of the explanation, I am all right with your direction. Even if we would want to retire just for some minutes to deal with it, then we the Committee members do not have any difficulties, or as the Hon Majority Leader said, we could still follow through and make sure that the right thing is done. Mr Speaker, I am very grateful.
Hon Member, you are right. Once the matter was referred to the Finance Committee, it is proper that at least, you have sight of those documents, irrespective of the fact that Leadership had sight of them. It is important, that you do same, because you would report to the House and not Leadership. Maybe that should be made available to the Committee now, so that we move to other items. If you come back to us with a report that you are satisfied, then we could re-lay the Report, and continue with the debate. So please, Clerks-at-the-Table, this one has not been laid. We would move to item numbered 1(b), by the Chairman of the Committee. It is on the Eleventh Report of the Appointments Committee. By the Chairman of the Committee -- Eleventh Report of the Appoint- ments Committee on H. E. the President's nominations for Appointment as Deputy Ministers.
Mr Speaker, we would recline to the original Order Paper, and deal with Motion captured as item number 11.
Hon Members, item numbered 11 on page 3 of the original Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Tenth Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's nominations for Appointment as Deputy Ministers may be moved today.
Hon Members, any seconder?
Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?
Hon Members, we would now move on to item numbered 12. Tenth Report of the Appointments Committee
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Tenth Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's nominations for appointment as Deputy Ministers. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report. Introduction In accordance with article 79 (1) and 78 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, H. E. the President communicated to Parliament the nomination of four (4) Ministers of State and fifty (50) Deputy Ministerial position for appointments on Wednesday, 15th March, 2017. Consequently, the nominations were referred to the Appointments Committee by the Rt Hon Speaker for consideration and report pursuant to Order 172 of the Standing orders of the House. The nominations include:
towards the building of an ultra-modern store complex when he was an Assemblyman for the Tikobo No.1 Electoral Area, the nominee informed the Committee that though Nana Namoaka Arinze III gave out the land for the construction of the ultra-modern store complex, he does not own shares in the project. According to him, Mr Albert Tandoh, the Asafohene of Tikobo No.1 and himself are the shareholders. They however, hold the property in trust for the chiefs, the elders and the community. He affirmed to the Committee that there exists an affidavit to that effect. He intimated that members of the community did not contribute towards the construction of the store complex, rather, members of the community (residents of Tikibo no.1), who were interested in renting the stores paid an amount of GH¢2,500 and GH¢3,500 paid by non- residents. He told the Committee that an account was opened with the Jomoro Rural Bank into which potential tenants paid in rent, but he had to close down the account when the bank failed to grant them a loan. He thereafter opened a new account with a different bank which was willing to grant them the loan. Challenges of the Chieftaincy Institution When asked to state some of the challenges facing the chieftaincy institution and how he would assist the Minister address them, the nominee listed lack of funding for the judicial committees of the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs and the practice where some chiefs engaged in partisan politics as some of the challenges confronting the institution. He affirmed his support to the Minister in whatever strategies he would come up with to address challenges that the chieftaincy institution may face. Support to his Minister to address chieftaincy disputes On how he would assist the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to address the various chieftaincy disputes, the nominee assured the Committee that his experience as an Assembly Member and an elder of the Pentecost Church had sufficiently equipped him to assist the Minister in that endeavour. Recommendation The Committee recommends to the House for the approval by consensus the nomination of Hon Paul Essien for appointment as Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs. Hon Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah -- Deputy Minister-designate for Health Background Ms Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah was born on 23rd January, 1964 in JamesTown (British Accra). She started school at Amamomo 1 Primary from 1970-1975. She continued at the Chorkor Primary for a year and also had two years Middle School education at the Mamprobi Girls Middle School. She got admission into Accra Girls Secondary School, from 1979 to 1984 where she obtained her GCE O' Level Certificate. She became a beautician after obtaining a diploma in a modern Hair dressing course organised by the Ghana Institute of Hairdressing and Beauty Culture at Mamprobi, from 1978 to 1988. She holds a BSc Public Administration from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration in 2013. Madam Tina Mensah started work in 1988 as the Chief Executive Officer of Tina Boutique and Beauty Saloon till 1993. She worked as the Managing Director of Gimens Company Limited at Mamprobi from 2001 to 2007 and moved to Help FM as a Deputy Director, Takoradi in 2007. The nomine did her national service at the Akawe Government Hospital in 2014. The nominee stood on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party for the 2016 National election and won her seat and was sworn- in as Member of Parliament for Weija Gbawe Constituency on the 10 th of January, 2017. Madam Tina Mensah has served in a number of capacities in the New Patriotic Party. She has held positions like Deputy National Women's Organiser, National Women's Secretary and other key positions. She is a member of the Danquah -Busia Memorial Club. She has participated in various conferences and capacity building programmes organised by the NPP, both in local and international circles. Hon Tina Mensah currently serves on the Health and Standing Orders Committees in Parliament. Responses to Questions National Health Insurance Scheme's indebtedness The Hon Nominee in her response on how to resolve the indebtedness of the NHIS said, the Hon Minister was aware of the challenges and that the said amount had also been captured in the 2017 budget. She told the Committee that the indebtedness would be cleared when budget releases are made. Responsibilities of the Minister The Hon Nominee informed the Committee on the responsibilities of the Minister, among others to include overseeing the agencies under the Ministry. The nominee mentioned some of the agencies under the Ministry. Allegations of misuse of money for bridge The Hon Nominee in responding to allegations that she had misappropriated an amount of money intended for the construction of a bridge in the Weija Constituency, informed the Committee that her recollection of the facts on the allegation was that during her campaign she raised money to support some projects in her constituency. She constructed a bridge out of her own volition. She told the Committee that she was not accountable to any person on how she raised the funds or how it was to be spent and that she used the funds she raised in support of projects as her contribution to her constituency. Issues of her temperament The Nominee in response to how she would comport herself as a Deputy Minister with respect to her temperament, promised she would work with her Minister in a cordial manner to ensure the progress of the Ministry. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus the nomination of Hon Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah for appointment as Deputy Minister for health. Hon (Dr) Ziblim Iddi -- Deputy Minister- designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture Background Dr Ziblim Iddi was born in September, 1967 at Gushegu in the Northern Region. He attended the Gushegu Local Authority Primary and Middle Schools, from 1972 to 1981. He proceeded to the Northern School of Business, Tamale, from 1981 to1982. He had his GCE Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificates at the Ghana Secondary School, Tamale, in 1986 and 1988 respectively. He gained admission into the University of Ghana, Legon in 1991 to pursue Political Science with Classical History and Civilisation and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1994. The nominee did his national service as the first National Service Coordinator at the Gushegu / Karaga District in 1990. He had the opportunity to participate in students' festival in Norway at the University of Trondheim. In 1995 he returned to Ghana, did his Post Graduate national service with the Organisation for Export Development of Seafood (OEDS) Tema. In 1998 he attended Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, Ga, where he had his Master 's Degree in International Development in 2004 and his doctorate degree in Political Science in 2007. He was a recipient of the Ford Foundation scholarship from 2004 to 2006. He also worked as sales and customer service clerk, at Harries Teeter Grocery Store, Atlanta, GA, USA in 1997, and worked as a Library Assistant, Fulton County Public Library, Atlanta, GA, USA in August 1998. He again did his internship as a Project Officer at the Carter Centre, Atlanta, GA, USA, in 1999. The nominee rose through the ranks as a Graduate Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant of Clark Atlanta University in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Upon his return to Ghana after his doctorate, the nominee worked as a Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Legon from 2008 to December 2016. The nominee stood for election on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party and was voted to represent the people of Gushegu Constituency in December 2016. He is currently the Member of Parliament for the Gushegu Constituency since 10th January, 2017. The Hon Nominee has had a number of professional experiences and is a member of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and of good standing since July 2009 to date. He has a number of publications to his credit, among which are, “Conducting a Peaceful, free and fair general elections in Ghana” and “Peace education and election -- related violence in Ghana's 2008 general elections”. He has also presented various papers, notable among them being “Politics and Chieftaincy in Dagbon” and “African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Hon Nominee was once the President of Gushegu Students Union and a patron of Voice of Rumour (VOR) while at the University of Ghana, Legon. The nominee is the Deputy Ranking Member of the Subsidiary Legislation and a member of the Works and Housing Committees of Parliament. Responses to Questions “Conducting a peaceful, free and fair General Elections in Ghana” The nominee in shedding light on his publication “Conducting a peaceful, free and fair general elections in Ghana” informed the Committee that he wrote that publication during the run off to the 2008 elections when he was a consultant at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) and was working on election related violence. He informed the Committee that in his work, he had the opportunity to gather data which he thought would help in his academic work if he put them together as an article to be published in the University Journals. He said the publication was on issues that touched on the nerves of the electorate during elections. In his publication he sought to show how education on election related violence could impact positively on peaceful elections. He stressed the need to educate the youth constructively not to allow themselves to be used as political tools for violence during elections. He further stated that conflicts were bound to come, however, teaching students to use international diplomacy would promote peace. Tourism in Ghana The nominee in responding to how to boost Ghana's tourism inflows said, tourism is the fourth foreign exchange earner for the country. He said his Minister 's passion for the industry showed he was in safe hands and hoped to support the Minister in her policy implementations to drive tourism in the country. He further stated that the post- Kintampo waterfall tragedy was a wakeup call and expressed his condolence to the bereaved families. He said the Ministry would establish destination management organisations with key stakeholders who would be charged with the responsibility to safeguard tourist sites. He informed the Committee that the Minister had ordered an audit of all tourist sites. Patron of “Voice of Rumour” Club The nominee in a response to a question that he belonged to a club which spreads falsehood said, as a lecturer, he was a patron to a youth group known as “Voice of Rumour” that seeks to establish the truth. He mentioned that the word “Rumour” was an acronym and does not mean rumour as in the dictionary. He also believes that falsehood only bullies the truth but can never replace the truth. Hospitality service providers in Ghana The nominee agreed to the assertion that Ghana is not yet where it is supposed to be in the hospitality industry. He informed the Committee that the Minister was engaging the private sector to assist and create avenues for stakeholders of the hospitality industry to share best practices and to improve upon their service delivery. He promised to encourage the public and provide the opportunity for good sanitation and alternative lifestyles to protect the environment and keep Ghana clean. Arts industry and intellectual property protection The nominee said the creative arts industry as part of the Ministry, happened in 2013 when it was brought under the purview of the Ministry. He promised to assist the Minister in tracking all legislations needed to strengthen and protect the intellectual property that is exhibited in the industry. He said there were plans to establish a fund to support the industry. He told the Committee that tourism is founded on
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Mr Speaker, it has been a very tiring period vetting these nominees and sitting for long hours. Mr Speaker, largely, most of them are our own Hon Colleagues whom we knew much about. The few that we did not know, such as, Dr Ziblim, Hon Deputy Minister- Designate for Ministry of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, really distinguished themselves. If you look at Dr Ziblim's composure, answers to the questions and his indepth knowledge about the area which he is supposed to go, you would support the Hon Minister. Mr Speaker, most of the nominees that appeared before the Committee did their best in answering the questions that we asked them. Therefore, I have no doubt in my mind that as they proceed to the various Ministries to assist their Hon Ministers, they would help in ensuring that the Ministries are run efficiently. Mr Speaker, with these few comments, I second the Motion. Question proposed.
Hon Members, I believe we have enough in the Report about who these 13 nominees are, what they are and all that we need. So, the repetition of these same things would not help us. Unless you would want to tell us what they are not or who they are not, I would not entertain repetition. Do not tell me what I know and what is in the Report. Are we all right?
Hon Members, I believe that we should take two from each Side of the House. Leadership, I need your guidance here because I could see that many more Hon Members would want to contribute. But immediately they start repeating, I would by all means stop them. I would stop them in their tracks anytime they would want to be repetitive.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. In supporting the Motion, I would want to comment on Hon Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah, Hon Collins Ntim and Hon Sabi. These two gentlemen and lady are members of the Health Committee. They have been very hardworking in this Committee, especially the Hon Chairman, who was also a District Chief Executive (DCE) for two terms and has a wealth of experience and has shown that during Committee meetings -- I would want to support the Motion that he should be approved and the other two should also be approved for the positions. In the case of Hon Tina Gifty Mensah, I happen to know her only at this place as a first term Member of Parliament. Her contributions in the Health Committee meetings are always good, and I plead with the House to support their approval for the various positions. Mr Speaker, in the case of Hon Sabi, he worked with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and he was a very good director there. We met at Health Committee meetings all the time and he has proved his worth and has a lot of experience. I do not doubt his capability to perform as an Hon Deputy Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation. I, therefore, plead with the House to support his approval as an Hon Deputy Minister for that particular Ministry. Hon Collins Ntim is the Hon Chairman of the Health Committee of Parliament. He has been doing very well and he has brought his experience as a former DCE to bear on the activities of the Committee. He has always been very timely at meetings and he has proved his capability at all levels. So, I support the Motion and I plead with the House to approve him as Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.
Hon Members, I am reminding you of my guidance. This is a Report of our Committee and the decision is on consensus. So, please do not repeat ad nauseam what is already in the Report.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. I rise to support the Motion for the approval of the nominees. I wish to zoom in on my female Hon Colleagues, to give them the best of my congratulations and I will touch on Hon Tina Mensah, Hon Gifty Twum-Ampofo and Hon Freda Prempeh. These ladies have already proved themselves worthy of it by even winning elections and being in this House. We have worked together, and I believe that they would be able to do their best. Mr Speaker, Hon Tina Naa A. Mensah is the Deputy Minister-designate for Health. That is quite a very good area for her to express and to make sure that she performs as an Hon Deputy Minister. We know the health issues that come to bear, when it comes to women and children. It is a very big concern for all of us. I hope that she would support her Hon Minister to enable him undertake more projects that would come up in support of women and children, and that the National Health Insurance Scheme, which is one of the strengths of women, especially those in the villages, would be adequately catered for. Also, payments would be made on time, and most of our clinics and Community-based Health Planning and Service (CHPS) Compounds in the rural areas would be looked at, so that we would have health personnel to attend to those in the villages. To Hon Tina Mensah, congratulations. To Hon Gifty Twum-Ampofo, I have been in touch with her for some time, we have interacted, and I have observed and known that she is highly sociable. She has tried as much as she can to always discuss whenever she thinks that it is necessary. She is going to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, while I am also the Hon Ranking Member for the Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection. The Ministry is so large, and I am particularly proud that the Hon Minister for the Ministry is a woman, and the Hon Deputy Minister is also a woman. So, I believe that even if there is a man among them, the two of them should be able to work better and prove that what men can do, women can do better. This is because if we work hard and gender is promoted, I know it is for both men and women; but we all know that it is tilted towards women, children and the vulnerable in society. Please, let us make sure that, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme succeeds, and other activities like the Affirmative Action (AA) comes on board, and we take it up seriously, work hand-in-hand with our male Hon Colleagues of Parliament and solicit their support, so that the AA would come to stay. Mr Speaker, I have known Hon Freda Prempeh for not less than twelve years. I worked with her in other social organisations, we have been on programmes and I have listened to and worked with her on presentations and what have you. I know her worth. The Ministry of Works and Housing is quite enormous. We would wish that she would support more women who come to her outfit, especially when it comes to housing. As we know, when women are housed, surely, most men and children are also housed. I hope that she would bring her expertise to bear, and that she would continue to perform. I wish them all the best. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and in particular, to comment on Hon William Agyapong Quaittoo and Hon Freda Prempeh. Mr Speaker, I happen to be on the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs with Hon Quaittoo. I must say that his contribution to the work of the Committee has been very fantastic. His experience at all levels of agri-business shows that he has what it takes, he understands what drives value, and he would make a good contribution to the drive by His Excellency the President; first, for a Ghana beyond aid, and the programme of “Planting for Food and Jobs”. Mr Speaker, as we may all be aware, one of the problems in our agriculture is marketing. As a farmer myself, I know that the issue of processing, especially during the harvest when we have a lot of glut, is something that the programme for ‘Planting for Food and Jobs' is going to tackle. I have no doubt in my mind, that Mr Quaittoo would bring his vast experience, both in the private sector in terms of agri- business and his working as a Marketing Officer of agri-products in the public sector, to bear. I believe that he would be a good assistant to his Hon Minister. There is no doubt the country stands to benefit largely from his experience. I wish to congratulate him and wish him all the best. Mr Speaker, with regard to Hon Freda Prempeh, I have known her for a while when she was an Assemblywoman at the La Dade Kotopon Municipal Assembly. At that Assembly, she chaired a lot of committees, and she demonstrated her tenacity that she has what it takes as a woman to work through the rigours of politics. I was not surprised that she moved to her hometown, and by the grace of God and through her dint of hard work, she is here today. Her work as a Prison Officer and with her knowledge of issues regarding accommodation and housing, I believe she would add a lot to tackle the problem of the housing shortage, which we feel in this country. Mr Speaker, when we listened to her contributions to various debates, especially regarding accommodation and issues of women, they were really worth taking note of. I believe and have no doubt in my mind that Hon Freda Prempeh would add a lot of value to the Ministry of Works and Housing. I am sure her substantive Hon Minister is very lucky to have a woman, who has crisscrossed all the paths of politics and has a vast experience. Mr Speaker, when we look at where Hon Prempeh has come from, she has demonstrated that she has what it takes to be a leader. I want to congratulate her.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor. I would do so by commenting particularly on the nominee for Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon Augustine Collins Ntim. Mr Speaker, I would want to congratulate him and say that he must particularly pay attention to certain issues concerning some district capitals. For instance, if we go to my constituency, which is coterminus with the district in South Dayi, the district capital is divided into two; half is in South Dayi and half falls under the Afajato District. Mr Speaker, this creates problems in terms of revenue generation, administra- tion and even the socio-cultural activities of the people are affected. This is because, if one is in Kpeve Old Town and wants to apply for business permits which are issued by the District Assemblies, even though one is in Kpeve, one would have to travel all the way to Golokwati, which is the district capital for Afadzato South in order to do so. If one was in South Dayi, one could simply have walked to the district capital in Kpeve New Town to do so. So, I would pray that he pays attention to things like that, and have those demarcation difficulties regularised. I would further want to touch on the Deputy Minister-designate for the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture. I pray that because of the issues dealing with pair trawling and other unlawful fishing activities, he would come to my district in South Dayi. This is because when you move from communities like Tongor-Dzakiti to Dzemini, Tongor-Agordake, Tongor-Tsita, Tongor-Abui No. 1, Tongor-Abui No. 2, and Kpeve Old Town to Akpato, they are dotted along the Volta Lake, and are home to certain companies that operate there for purposes of running aquaculture activities. There is a company in particular at Agordake, that is a subsidiary of GS Global, which is into fish farming activities. I was there last weekend and saw the serious environmental issues as a result of the unlawful fishing practices they engage in. This is because they pollute the same water from which they breed these fishes. This is an issue which the community, through the Assemblyman has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). So, I would pray that when he comes, as part of his initial official duties, he would tour some of these communities, consider some of these practices and deal with them as some of the policy measures they would undertake. Mr Speaker, with these words, I support the Motion on the floor. Thank you for the opportunity.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the oppor- tunity. In contributing to the Motion, I would limit my contribution to the Hon Deputy Minister-designate for Employment and Labour Relations. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member indicated in his submission to the Appointments Committee his preparedness to assist his Minister to deal with how expatriates treat our local workers. It is quite interesting to note that most of these foreign companies that operate on our lands do not take the necessary measures to protect our workers. The Hon nominee committed himself to assist his substantive Hon Minister to ensure that our local workers are protected. Also, on the issue of safety at our various industries, the Hon nominee gave the assurance that he would ensure that the necessary monitoring activities would be done at our various industries to ensure that the necessary safety measures are done. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion that the Hon Member be given the nod. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I rise to speak in support of the Motion for the adoption of the Tenth Report of the Appointments Committee on the President's nominations for Deputy Ministerial positions. Hon Deputy Ministers are to assist their Hon Ministers in the execution of their duties. It is not for nothing that the Constitution, under article 79, provides that the President shall consult the Hon Minister in appointing the Hon Deputy Minister. It is expected that the chemistry of the two persons would gel, even as they may have personal differences. Mr Speaker, I had some little experience as an Hon Minister, and there were times that Hon Ministers would minute information and matters that were to be brought to the attention of the Hon Deputy Minister. It was a problem sometimes depending on the Hon Minister and who was exercising what. I know that some Hon Ministers normally would assign Hon Deputy Ministers to particular schedules. What is important is for the Hon Minister to be ultimately responsible and have a relationship that would allow them to focus on the government's core policy objectives and achievements. Mr Speaker, I would pick Hon Augustine Collins Ntim, who has been nominated as Deputy Minister for Local Development and Rural Development. I trust that he would support his Hon Minister and Colleague seniour Hon Deputy Minister, Hon O. B. Amoah, in deepening the process of decentralisation in our country. I trust that they would work to minimise conflicts between Hon Members of Parliament (MPs) and District Chief Executives (DCEs) in particular to build more harmony. There were times that DCEs under- mined MPs because they were eying the MP's seat. There were times when MPs would also not cooperate with DCEs because they had the same wrong or right feeling that the DCE would not cooperate. It is a matter we must find a lasting solution to. A number of women have got the President's pleasure and attention to serve as Hon Deputy Ministers. That is encouraging, even though the larger the size of the government, the more women are represented.
Hon Freda Prempeh started as an Assemblywoman, went through the rigorous process to become MP and now, Hon Deputy Minister. At least, she would join many other women to give a shining example, that notwithstanding the rigorous nature of politics and sometimes, how dirty it could be, women could still take their place in the politics of our country. She would work with my Hon good Friend, Hon Atta Akyea. I hope that she would support the Hon Minister to be dedicated to the process of improving the works and housing regime and in particular, address the housing deficit of our country. I am particularly concerned about housing for Superior Court Judges and the Judiciary. We must begin to copy the Turkish or Moroccan model of high rising buildings within the area of the Ministries and dedicate them to workers. Mr Speaker, you have been there yourself. Most of the problems with this country is rent. When workers have to pay accumulated rent for one or two years, it eats into their incomes. Therefore, addressing the shelter problem places a much bigger responsibility on Hon Atta Akyea. We pray that Hon Freda Prempeh -- I have no doubt that their chemistry would gel. Hon Atta Akyea is focused, so, when she supports him, she can concentrate on it. The allocation of government bungalows, we are told many times and not just this period -- In times past, there was favouritism and people who deserved them were denied the opportunity. The Hon Minister and his Hon Deputy must pay particular attention to that. My other comment would be on Hon William Agyapong Quaittoo, who demonstrated considerable knowledge of the area. He grew up in Tamale, Sakasaka as I was told. He has demonstrated enormous knowledge on matters relating to agriculture and in particular, how to improve marketing. Again, we are particular about the buffer stock scheme. I know that the late President Mills reintroduced it and supported it with adequate funding. Along the line, it run into some difficulties. In order to improve marketing largely for agricultural produce, we should be able to reactivate the buffer stock. On irrigation, we should look at the development of irrigable dams across the country and I trust that he would support his Hon Minister to do a good job at the Ministry of Agriculture. We have no reason not to be sufficient in food production. I know government has a commitment of a GH¢1 billion import bill, that they want to reduce. We laid the seed and that was why the Komenda Sugar Factory was started. We would need to work to expand it, work on Savelugu and others, and produce more that we would export. Therefore, by consensus, we strongly recommend his nomination -- he is one of our Hon Colleagues. Again, Mr Speaker, the minimum requirement -- he is already an MP. What more could we do than to support it? Mr Speaker, I would want to conclude with my senior Brother, Hon Ziblim Iddi, who is the Hon Deputy Minister- designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture. He demonstrated academic process with some encouraging background on international relations. Unfortunately, the attention of the President now is for him to do tourism and not to do matters which are related to the management of foreign policy. But I still believe that he would bring his expertise to bear to support the US$1 billion industry. Tourism can even contribute to an improvement in our foreign exchange reserves if managed well. The problem is the access to tourist sites in Ghana, and also, having a strategic policy to govern that industry. Mr Speaker, I would want to congratulate Hon Ziblim Iddi, who has decided to abandon his nickname. I met him at the University of Ghana, Legon and he was called “Barry White”; but I am sure it is not for this purpose. We therefore support the nomination by consensus. Mr Speaker, with Hon Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe, he is a man of God just like the Rt Hon Speaker and is now in the world of politics and would work at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture. He was my contemporary at the Common- wealth Hall in the University of Ghana, Legon. We trust that with unregulated fishing, which remains a problem, and the development of more fishing sites, particularly in the Central Region on the coastal belt, he would assure our fisherfolks of some opportunities. Mr Speaker, in respect of Hon Paul Essien, the Committee got a petition from a citizen of that area, and he responded adequately to the concerns. We would advise him to work with the chief of Tikobo, so that with the market that he established, the chiefs and people of that area would become co-owners of it as he manages it. He demonstrated that as an Assemblyman, that was a worthy adventure to have gone into. By consensus, we recommend him. Mr Speaker, with these words, I support the Motion.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Hon Members, on behalf of the House and the good people of Ghana, I convey our congratulations to you for the honour bestowed on you by H.E the President. Let me urge you, please, not to disappoint the people of Ghana. You are called upon to serve and not to lord it over the people. Service you are to render. Hon Members, congratulations. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, if we could go to the Addendum Order Paper and take Motion itemised 8.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Eleventh Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's Nominations for Appointment as Deputy Ministers may be moved today.
Hon Members, in the absence of any consideration, since the recommendation of the Committee is that they should all be approved by consensus —
Mr Speaker, we are now at the procedural Motion stage. That is what is before you now.
Thank you, Hon Chairman. I have now just been given copies of the Report. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly. The Eleventh Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's nominations for appointment as Deputy Ministers
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Eleventh Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's Nominations for Appointment as Deputy Ministers. Mr Speaker, in accordance with articles 79 (1) and 78 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, H.E. the President communicated to Parliament the nomination of four (4) Ministers of State and fifty (50) Deputy Ministerial appointments on Wednesday, 15th March, 2017. Consequently, the nominations were referred to the Appointments Committee by the Rt Hon Speaker, for consideration and report, pursuant to Order 172 of the Standing Orders of the House. The nominations include: i. Hon Andy Appiah-Kubi -- Deputy Minister-designate for Railways Development ii. Hon DrYaw Osei Adutwum -- Deputy Minister-designate for Education iii. Hon Eugene Boakye Antwi -- Deputy Minister-designate for Works and Housing iv. Hon Barbara Oteng Gyasi -- Deputy Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources
[ MR OSEI-OWUSU][MR OSEI-OWUSU] strengthened in the schools to help guide the children in making the right decisions. He called for the training of more personnel in the area of guidance and counselling to provide the support students require. He said he would take up the issue with the Minister to ensure that guidance and counselling services are strengthened in schools. Completing uncompleted buildings The nominee informed the Committee that the Minster had ordered an inventory of all uncompleted buildings of the Ministry their sources of funding. When the exercise is complete, the Ministry would look at how those buildings can be completed to ensure that the tax payer's money is not wasted. Quality of teachers in schools The nominee informed the Committee that the quality of teachers, especially at the lower levels, should be a concern to everybody. He informed the Committee that research had revealed that the countries that do well have graduate teachers teaching at the primary levels. In Ghana, only twenty per cent (20%) of graduates are teaching at the primary school level. There is therefore the need to look at the existing teacher training programme. He told the Committee that there would be the need to have special incentives for teachers in the rural areas, in order to attract the urban teacher to the rural areas. He identified a pool of unemployed graduates who do not have teaching certificates, but are more competent than the untrained teachers mostly found in the rural areas. He opined that the Ministry should tap into these graduates to assist with teaching in the rural areas. He assured the Committee that he would assist the Minister to address the issue, if given the nod. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, for appointment as Deputy Minister for Education. Hon Eugene Boakye Antwi-- Deputy Minister-designate for Works and Housing Background Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi was born on 7th May, 1970 at Asafo in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He had his basic education from 1976 to 1977 at Penwork International School, Asokwa and Amankwatia Experimental Primary School from 1977 to 1978. He also attended Goldfields Preparatory School, Tarkwa, from 1978 to 1982 and Services Primary School, Takoradi, from 1982 to 1983. In 1983 to 1984, he was a student at Royal International School, Asokwa and thereafter attended the Opoku Ware School, Kumasi, from 1984 to 1985. He then proceeded to Technology Secondary School also in Kumasi where he had his Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificate, from1985 to 1989 and 1989 to 1990 respectively. He proceeded to Lambelt College, London for an access to Law programme, from 1995 to 1997. He attended Westminister College, Bathersea Park Road, London and obtained a High National Diploma (HND) in Business Studies. The nominee, thereafter, attended the University of Westminster, Harrow Middlesex, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Degree) in Business Admini- stration. Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi was a porter at Royal Overseas League Green Park, London, from 1991 to 1994. He worked as a Merchandiser in Asda Stores, Roeh- ampton in London, from1994 to 1999, and later as a personal banker at Barclays Bank PLC, City of London, from September 2000 to March 2005. He was also the Administrative Officer at the Department for Constitutional Affairs, Kennington, London, from April 2005 to August 2008 and a Managing Director of Eugass Limited, Kumasi, from September 2008 to January 2017. He is currently a Member of Parliament for Subin Constituency, since January 2017 and serves on the Education, Standing Orders and House Committees. Hon Eugene Boakye Antwi has held other leadership positions, including Member of the NPP National Council (2010 - 2014), Secretary of the NPP --UK and Ireland branches (2005 -2008) and a member of the University Council of Westminister (1997-1998) Responses to Question Citizenship status In response to a question whether the nominee still had a dual citizenship status, he informed the Committee that he had renounced the UK citizenship status since April 2016 and is now a citizen of Ghana only. He submitted a copy of the renunciation certificate to the Committee for perusal. Addressing the flooding challenge The nominee admitted that flooding is one of the major challenges confronting the Ministry and the country in general especially during the rainy season. He stated that the National Hydrologic Department is in charge of flood control and sea defence in the country, and that given the nod, he would assist his Minister to take the necessary steps to re-engineer the capital and other regional capitals, to allow the free flow of choked gutters to reduce flooding. Combination of the role as an MP and a Deputy Minister Responding to a question on how he would combine his role as an MP with that of a Deputy Minister, the nominee informed the Committee that his role as a Member of Parliament is to legislate and serve the Subin Constituency and that is clearly different from his role as a Deputy Minister for Works and Housing. He stated that he had no problem with regard to combining the two roles. Mission and vision statement of the Ministry When asked about the Mission and Vision of the Ministry, the nominee stated that the Ministry exists to formulate and implement the programmes and policies for the provision of affordable housing, management of public branded properties and drainage systems. He further stated that the vision is to make sure that low and middle income earners in our country are able to live in a secured, decent and affordable accommodation, as well as the maintenance of all public properties. The state of affordable housing The nominee indicated that the state of the affordable housing was worrying, considering the cost overrun which burdened government. According to him, affordable housing started during the Kufuor Administration, but was aban- doned by successive governments, which subsequently led to a partnership with SSNIT.
Local league and sponsorship from corporate Ghana On his view on local league and sponsorship from corporate Ghana with his experience as a football administrator, the nominee stated that sponsorship should not be equated to philanthropy, and that telecommunication companies and other corporate entities require a certain platform which would give them visibility which could be used to communicate and project their brand. The nominee told the Committee that the time had come to ensure that the local league was reformed to attract sponsorship from corporate Ghana. Increasing local participation in the Telecommunication Industry The nominee agreed to the assertion that there were more foreign entities in the telecommunication industry than Ghanaians. He stated that he would assist the Minister to come up with a policy that would enable Ghanaians to become part of the industry through listing on the stock market. Encouraging payment of TV License On how to ensure quality programmes on our television sets and encourage Ghanaians to pay their television licenses, the nominee stated that the migration of Ghana from analogue onto the digital platform would ensure clearer pictures, better sound quality and a more interactive television experience. He continued that, with regard to the television content, the Ministry could only encourage them to improve, however, competition among the various stations would enrich television content. Making the Ministry of Communications outstanding On how he would assist the Minister to make the Ministry of Communications stand out, the nominee stated that he would bring his diverse background to support the Minister, and to make the Ministry of Communications outstanding. He reiterated that he is driven by the President's call to make Ghana, a Ghana beyond aid and would therefore, work to strategise and make the country competitive in the communication industry and communication infra- structure to ensure we are number one in Africa, in terms of service quality. Mounting of masts on private property Asked what he would do to address the situation where telecommunication companies trespass on private property to mount telephone masts, the nominee stated that the mounting of a mast on a private property without permission is against the law. He continued that he would assist the Minister to ensure that, before a mast is mounted anywhere in Ghana, the various stakeholder permits required are acquired before approval is granted. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon Vincent Sowah Odotei, for appointment as Deputy Minister for Communications. Hon Patrick Yaw Boamah-- Deputy Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources Background Hon Patrick Yaw Boamah was born in Muosu in the Eastern Region on 19th September, 1974. He attended Ann's Preparatory School, Accra, for his primary education, from 1980 to 1984 and then to Parent's Experimental Preparatory, Accra from 1984 to 1987. He later attended Winneba Secondary School, from 1987 to 1995 and obtained his Ordinary Level Certificate in 1992 and Advanced Level Certificate in 1995, from the same school. He enrolled in University of Cape Coast from 1999 to 2002 and attained a Bachelor of Education degree in 2002. He gained a Diploma in Public Administration in 2003 from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). He also obtained an MA in International Affairs, from University of Ghana, Legon in 2004. He then enrolled in the University of Ghana from 2005 to 2007 and attained an LLB in 2007. He later obtained a Professional Law Qualification, Barrister at Law (BL), in 2009 and was called to the Ghana Bar the same year. Hon Patrick Boamah worked at Mpohor Wassa East District Assembly, Daboase, Western Region for his national service, from 1995 to 1996. He then worked as a Special Assistant at the Office of former President Kufuor, from 1997 to 1999. He again worked at the Office of the Chief of Staff from 2002 to 2003 for his national service. From 2004 to 2005, he worked at the Research Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration as an Assistant Research Officer. He became an Associate at Sam Okudzeto & Associates, from 2009 to 2012, and Managing Partner at Boamah & Partners, from 2013 till date. He has been the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central Constituency since 2013 and serves on the Foreign Affairs and Subsidiary Legislative Committees. Nominee's responses to Questions Financing of water projects The nominee informed the Committee that the mode of financing water projects and waste disposal facilities should be varied from donor support to other modes of financing. He stated that Government has earmarked about two billion United States dollars for water for all projects. He also stated that Government should consider the alternative of raising bonds to solve the numerous challenges with access to clean potable water by the year 2030. He added that there are about thirty- seven sewer systems in Ghana and currently, thirty-five of them are not fully functional. Accordingly, he would assist the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources to engage in Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to address the situation. Sanitation in the Country The nominee informed the Committee that according to a World Bank report, one out of every five persons openly defecate in public and the Government loses about four hundred and twenty million United States dollars yearly in addressing the causes of open defecation in the country. He stated that the Government has a policy of ensuring that every household in the country has, at least, one toilet facility to address this concern. He indicated that the problem of sanitation in the country is largely an attitudinal one and as the rainy season would soon commence, an outbreak of cholera looms. In view of this, he stated
that he would assist the Hon Minister to adopt and embark on a robust campaign to educate the public to change the attitude of polluting the environment and to ensure that defaulters of the numerous laws on sanitation are sanctioned accordingly. Mechanised boreholes The nominee's attention was drawn to the fact that some communities in the northern parts of the country have managed to acquire boreholes to provide clean potable water. Unfortunately, the boreholes are powered by electricity and the community is unable to pay for the high cost of electricity to operate the boreholes. Consequently, the boreholes have become inoperable. The nominee informed the Committee that the Ministry of Energy is piloting a project to power mechanised boreholes with solar energy. He also stated that Government has secured funding from The Netherlands Government to provide water for various communities in the three northern regions. Effects of illegal mining on water bodies The nominee informed the Committee, that the effects of illegal mining on water bodies are numerous and the fight to address the menace has begun. He indicated that the concern is an inter- ministerial one and as such, a Committee has been instituted to address the concern. He appealed to the media to join in the effort to eradicate the menace. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon Patrick Yaw Boamah for appointment as Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources. Hon Maj. Derek Oduro (retd)-- Deputy Minister-designate for Defence Background Hon Maj. Derek Oduro (retd) was born on 23rd February, 1958, at Dromankese in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. He had his basic education at Dromankese Local Authority Primary and Middle School between 1963 and 1973, where he obtained his Middle School Leaving Certificate. He later proceeded to Akosas Business College in 1974 and graduated with a Royal Society of Arts (RSA II), London in 1977. In 1986, the nominee was admitted to the Armed Forces School of Education at Teshie, where he obtained his GCE “O” and “A”Level certificates. He later enrolled in the Institute of Accountancy Training in Accra and was awarded a Diploma in Public Finance in 1993. In 2001, Maj. Oduro (retd) enrolled in the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College for his Pass Staff College qualification in the military. Between 2011 and 2012, the nominee enrolled in the Graduate School of Governance and Leadership and was awarded International Senior Executive Certificate in Governance and Political Leadership in Public Administration and Local Governance and Diplomacy International Relations. In 2015, Maj. Oduro (retd) was awarded a Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre. The nominee began his career as a Bursar at Akosas Business College in 1977. He held this position until he was recruited into the Ghana Armed Forces in Between 2005 and 2006, he was the Presiding Member for the Nkronza District Assembly. He is currently the Member of Parliament for the Nkoranza Constituency. As part of his duties in Parliament, he serves on several Parliamentary Committees, including Committee on Defence and Interior, Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Business Committee and Privileges Committee. He was the Ranking Member of the Committee on Defence and Interior in the Sixth Parliament. He is currently the Chairman of the Select Committee on Defence and Interior. In recognition of his outstanding service, Hon Maj. Derek Oduro (retd) was awarded several medals in the Military and honours in civilian life. These include Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Long Service and Efficiency Medal, ECOMOG Medal, UNAMSIL Medal and MONUC Medal. The nominee is a member of the International Parliamentary Forum for Small Arms and Light Weapons. He has participated in several conferences and workshops, both locally and abroad. He is married with six (6) children and speaks English and Twi. Nominee's responses to Questions Response to petition on military brutality on a journalist In a response to the contents of a publication regarding the nominee's comments on the alleged beating of a journalist, the nominee thanked the Committee for giving him the opportunity to state his side of the story. He explained that somewhere in March, 2017, a journalist alleged that he had been subjected to brutalities by a group of military men around the Independence Square. He said when he was contacted by a media house to comment on the issue, his first response was to condemn the action of the officers and called on the Chief of the Defence Staff to institute an investigation into the matter to ensure that the perpetrators were identified and punished. He indicated that he was later invited to a live television discussion on the matter, at which point he came into contact with the victim. He said during the discussions, he used the opportunity to advise the journalist concerned not to take video coverage of such events for his own safety. He further expressed his opinion on the inappropriateness of the conduct of the officers concerned. The nominee informed the Committee that in expressing his views on the matter, he opined that there was the need to treat such actions as the bad conduct of some recalcitrant men in uniform and not the entire Ghana Armed Forces as if the act was commissioned by the Military hierarchy. He told the Committee that the statements he made did not go down well with the journalist concerned and he raised insults at him. The nominee explained that at the peak of the provocation, he made a comment that the journalist was beaten because of his attitude and if he (the journalist) did not change his rude attitude, he would continue to be beaten.
Asked whether he supported military brutalities, the nominee explained that though he had a high regard for the Ghana Armed Forces, he would not support military brutalities against the civilian population. He denied ever making the statement that the Ghana Armed Forces would continue to brutalise civilians. Tolerating civilians without recourse to the use of force On how best the military could tolerate the misconduct of civilians without resorting to the use of force and brutalities, the nominee explained to the Committee that no military regulation allowed men in uniform to use force on civilians. He indicated that in the past, the Ghana Armed Forces had been associated with brutalities. That situation has since changed and the military has become accommodative to the civilian population and this is manifest in the celebration of annual open days with the public, where the military and the general public jaw- jaw and exchange views. He explained to the Committee that the Ghana Armed Forces have on several occasions issued statements to the public, condemning military brutalities meted out to civilians. He said there was however, the need to further deepen the relationship between the military and civilians, to demystify the military in the eyes of the public. On how to demystify the Ghana Armed Forces and improve its relationship with civilians, the nominee proposed the use of television and radio advertisements to educate the public on the Ghana Armed Forces. He also suggested an improve- ment in civilian-military relationship, as one of the ways to bridge the gap between the military and civilians. He dispelled the notion that the training of military officers included the training of the military on how to discipline the civilian. Dealing with the challenges affecting the Military Expressing his opinion on the challenges facing the Ghana Armed Forces, the nominee explained to the Committee that his experience as the Ranking Member of the Committee on Defence and Interior, had given him a fair view of the challenges confronting the Ghana Armed Forces. He enumerated inadequate and obsolete equipment and delays in the payment of some allowances, as some of the key challenges of the Ghana Armed Forces. He indicated, that the President had initiated a policy to re-equip the Armed Forces, to make them more efficient and effective. He explained that, given the nod, he would team up with the Minister to ensure the realisation of this objective and also help address the problems confronting the forces. Recruitment into the Ghana Armed Forces On how to ensure fairness, equity and transparency in the recruitment into the military, the nominee dispelled the notion that recruitment into the military was based on nepotism and favouritism. He explained that the recruitment process involved advertisement and online applications. This process is open to the citizenry, irrespective of sex, tribe or location. He said there is no human contact until selected applicants are invited for interview and examination. He intimated to the Committee, that the limited human interface ensured that the best and qualified candidates are selected into the Army. He further explained that to ensure regional balance in the selection, recruitment was done on regional basis. This he explained was the formality adopted over the years to ensure fairness and equity in the recruitment process. He added that the online application eliminated the possibility of multiple participation in the recruitment process. On how to give equal opportunities to women, the nominee indicated that the Army had, over the years, allocated a quota for women. However, there was limited interest among women in the past. He expressed optimism that more women would take an interest in joining the Ghana Armed Forces in future recruitments. Provision of accommodation for the military on community duties In response to a question on the provision of decent accommodation for military men stationed in parts of the country to help safeguard peace and security in some communities, the nominee indicated that the Military, as part of its responsibilities, deploys men on temporary basis to conflict areas in parts of the country. These officers, he said, are stationed outside the traditional military camps. He explained that it was the primary responsibility of the District Assemblies to provide accommodation to officers deployed to their areas on peace missions. He said the military also had some responsibilities to ensure proper accommodation for these officers. He pledged to consult the Minister to identify the most appropriate solution to the issues. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon Maj. Derek Oduro (retd.), for appointment as Deputy Minister for Defence. Hon Dr Sagre Bambangi--Deputy Minister-designate for Agriculture Background Dr Sagre Bambangi was born on 2nd May 1966 at Wungu in the Northern Region and hails from Wungu. He started his primary school education at Wungu Local Authority Primary from 1974 to 1978. He continued his elementary education at the Walewale Junior Secondary School where he completed in 1981. He enrolled at the Navrongo Secondary School in November 1981 to 1986, where he wrote his GCE Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations. He gained admission into the University of Ghana, Legon, in February 1989 to pursue Economics and Sociology. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Sociology in September, 1991. He went back to the University and graduated with a Master of Philosophy Degree in Economics in June 1995 and a Doctorate Degree in Agricultural Economics in December 2009. Dr Bambangi did his national service at the Walewale Secondary Technical School in 1978 and continued as a teacher in the same school till 1988. He did his second national service at the Navrongo Secondary School in 1992. From February 1996 to 1997, he was a District Development Planning Officer at the Bongo District Assembly. He lectured at the Department of Economics and Enterpreneurship
Development in the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies, University for Development Studies, from February, 1997 to December 2016. Dr Bambangi stood for elections on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party in the 2012 general elections and was voted to represent the people of Walewale. He became the Member of Parliament for Walewale Constituency on January 7th 2013 to date. In Parliament, Hon Bambangi served as Vice Chairman to the Committee Members Holding Office of Profit and was a member of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs. He currently serves on the Govern- ment Assurances and the Education Committees in Parliament. Hon Bambangi has held a number of leadership positions. He was the Secretary to the Wungu Town Development Committee from 1986 to 1990, a member of the Board of the Neighbour in Need Foundation from 1997 to 2004, Patron of the Ghana Muslim Students Association, UDS Navrongo campus from 2001 to 2004, Board Member of the Bangmarigu Community Bank Limited from 2004 to 2009 and a member of the National Council of the New Patriotic Party since 2014. Hon Bambangi has been a member of the Academic Board of UDS from 1997 to 2004 and a member of the Board of Graduate Studies from 2001 to 2010. He has participated in a number of international conferences, including the 2nd Interna- tional Conference on Global Food Security, held in Cornell University, USA, in October 2015. Hon Bambangi has to his credit fifteen (15) unpublished reports and five (5) publications in the course of his work. Nominee's responses to Questions Development of Agriculture in the rural areas The nominee responded to the Committee on publications he had made on agriculture. The central theme he intimated to the Committee was for the strengthening of agriculture extension schemes in the rural areas to be opened up for transformational development. He called for a robust agricultural sector, founded on socio-economic development. Population control measures The nominee, in response to a question on population control measures, told the Committee that applying population control measures is appreciated when the population is well developed. He stated that his findings revealed that men and women at the tertiary levels had decreased fertility levels. Understanding of accountability The nominee, in a reaction to a report he produced on accountability said, the public's understanding of accountability was at variance with the scholarly definition of the word. He further stated that horizontal accountability was basically what the media and civil society organisations projected, while vertical accountability was what constituents expected from their Members of Parliament. The variance in the meaning of accountability was attributed to the lack of education and understanding of the role of Members of Parliament. According to him, a constituent's grading of a Member of Parliament on the basis of the time he spent holding Ministers accountable for their stewardship on the floor of the House such as during Question time, and devoid of cognisance of his contributions at Committee meetings and other parliamentary activities defeated the grading purpose. He said this has contributed to public misconception about the work Members of Parliament perform. He called for better education of constituents on the role Members of Parliament play in the House. Dynamics of migration in Northern Ghana The nominee told the Committee that he worked on the dynamics of migration as a response to a call for papers by the University of Ghana, Legon. The study, he said, looked at the precolonial, colonial, pre-independence and post-indepen- dence eras. He said the findings revealed that women migrated freely on their own as a result of improvements in communica- tion, transportation and security. He identified the push factors as conditions that caused a migrant to leave his or her original location and the pull factors as conditions that attracted him to new locations. The study, he said, concluded that to address the frequent migration of head potters (kayayei) from the north to the south, the push factors must be addressed by way of industrialisation and improvement in agriculture. Land conservation and small holder rehabilitation project On the role he played in a land conservation project on small holder rehabilitation in the north, the nominee informed the Committee that he was part of a team contracted under the Interna- tional Fund for Agriculture Development Project in Bole, to look for data to be used as a baseline study on a land conservation project. The study was basically on data collection. Farmer-herder relations on grazing in Wungu, Northern Region On farmer-herder relations at Wungu in the Northern Region, the nominee told the Committee that he published his work on the challenges the farmers at Wungu faced and presented the report at the African Regional Conference of Endogenous Development. The study, he opined, revealed that the relationship between the farmer and the herder was one of symbiotic, which turned sour when the chiefs were accused of siding with one party in the relationship. The challenge had been made worse by the influx of foreign Fulani herdsmen into the country. He informed the Committee that the solution was to deal with the influx of Fulani herdsmen and agree on the routes to be used by them in their grazing activities and for the community to demarcate the land area reserved for grazing. Social impact assessment of Sirigu Women's Organisation The nominee in his response to the work he did on social impact of women groups, told the Committee that his work showed that even though the women were busily engaged in agricultural activities, their earnings are marginal. He said the study made recommendations to the sponsors of the project on what was needed to be done to improve upon the socio economic status of the women engaged on the project. Food security in northern Ghana The nominee informed the Committee that Oxfam contracted his team to work on food security crops in northern Ghana
and the alignment of FASDEP priority crops. He said the study considered cassava, maize and millet, which are security crops and concluded that millet, which is not part of the priority crops under the project, should be included, since it was easy to be cultivated in northern Ghana. Marketing of produce The nominee mentioned in his response that the terms of trade normally do not favour agriculture, which is unfair to farmers in general. He said to ensure the farmer was fairly rewarded, the Ministry of Agriculture would ensure that all government institutions procure farm produce from the Planting for Food and Jobs Project. Secondly, he would advise his Minister to link up with research institutions for the introduction and use of improved variety seedlings. He said extension officers would be roped in to assist farmers get more from their yields and at a relatively lower cost of production, this would make them more competitive. Rice importation under trade liberalisa- tion and competitiveness The nominee informed the Committee that the report was a research he undertook for his doctorate dissertation. He said the study analysed rice production at the time and trade liberalisation through modelling, and concluded that import licensing abolishment and income growth were important factors. The study, he said, also tested the urbanisation factor and concluded that improved varieties produced by SARI be made available to farmers and the assistance of extension officers be sought to produce the needed quality and quantity of rice required to feed the nation. This would save the nation a lot of foreign currency used in rice importation. Restoration of northern rice production The nominee indicated that a study by a Harvard student by name A. W. Shepard in the seventies concluded that rice was the most profitable crop in the north, but had marginal profit margins. He proposed that with the appropriate irrigation, appropriate technology and adequate supervision by extension officers, farmers would be motivated to produce more rice. He assured the Committee that the Ministry would engage in block farming to enable it achieve the objective of the government. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon Dr Sagre Bambangi for appointment as Deputy Minister for Agriculture. Hon George Boahen Oduro -- Deputy Minister-designate for Agriculture Background Hon George Boahen Oduro was born on 10th October, 1965 at Adansi Atobiase in the Ashanti Region. He is a Ghanaian citizen by birth. He began his primary education at the Atobiase R/C Primary School (1972-1974) and continued to Kaase L/A Primary School (1974-1976). He returned to the Atobiase R/C Primary School (1976-1978) and completed his primary education at Adansi Middle School in 1979. He progressed to the Opoku Ware II International School, Kumasi, from 1979 to 1981. He attended Opoku Ware Secondary School, Kumasi from 1981 to (2007-2010). Between 2015 and 2016, the nominee did an external course in Ghana, through Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC) and received an MBA in International Trade from the Anhalt University, Germany. Hon Oduro did his national service at the Jachie Pramso Hospital between 1988 and 1989. From 1990 to 1992, he was appointed the Marketing Manager of the East Adansi Trading Company, Kumasi. He later operated his own business called McGeorge Enterprise, Accra from 1996 to 2000 which he subsequently converted into a limited liability company under the name McGeorge Constructions Limited and operated same from 2000 to 2013. He further operated the Universal (G & O) Supplies Limited, Accra, as CEO from 2006 to 2013. He became a Director of the Cedar Seal Company Limited, Accra in 2013 and resigned in 2016. Hon George Boahen Oduro is the Member of Parliament for the New Edubiase Constituency in the Ashanti Region and took office on 7th January, 2017. As part of his parliamentary duties, the nominee serves on the Committee on Works and Housing and the Privileges Committee. Nominee's responses to Questions Nominee's citizenship status On whether he possess citizenship of another country apart from Ghana, the nominee affirmed that he is a Ghanaian and had never acquired the citizenship of any other country. The nominee further told the Committee that he had never travelled to Canada nor even applied for their visa. The national security report alleging that he travelled on a Canadian visa is a case of mistaken identity. Support for livestock production On what measures he would suggest to improve livestock production in the country, especially the northern regions, the nominee noted that the Government's decision to recruit about 2,400 Extension Officers as part of the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme would reach many farmers, including livestock farmers, to boost livestock production. He promised to support the substantive Minister to ensure that livestock farmers received the needed extension services to improve their outputs. Rice production in the Afram Plains On how he would assist the Minister for Agriculture to improve rice production in the Afram Plains, as promised by the New Patriotic Party in its 2016 Manifesto, the nominee regretted that past Governments have always ignored the engineering aspect of farming, but promised to assist the Minister to reverse the trend. He also noted that famers would be assisted with subsidised fertilizer and other agro-chemicals to increase their yields. He, however, suggested that the application of fertilizers by farmers should be preceeded by a soil check to ascertain
acidic levels in the soil. According to him, the soil check is an integral part of the process, as the outcome of the exercise may reveal that fertilizer is not needed. He therefore assured to assist the Minister to pursue that course. Planting for food and jobs programme/ reducing enemployment Hon Oduro acknowledged the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, but said that despite the enormous opportunities in the agricultural sector, the youth have not shown much interest in farming due to marketing challenges. He accordingly pointed to the plan of the Ministry of Agriculture to look for off- takers including engaging secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the country to buy farm produce. He hoped this would address the marketability problem and make farming more lucrative and attractive to the youth. The nominee also promised to canvass support for women in agriculture by supplying them with weedicides to lessen their plight and improve their productivity. Challenges in the poultry production sector According to the nominee, a major challenge facing poultry farmers in the country was the high cost of production. He explained that the situation had made local chicken products more expensive than the imported ones. He counted on the new programme to boost agricultural production to reduce the cost of poultry production in the country. He explained that an increase in maize production would cause the cost of poultry feed to fall, leading to lower production cost and of local chicken products. Plan to increase mango production On how he would assist the substantive Minister to increase mango production in the country, the nominee stated that mango production in the country was beset with post-harvest losses which must be tackled. He therefore suggested that the agro-processing factories should be considered to provide the needed market to boost mango production. View on the re-alignment of COCOBOD The nominee stated that he did not foresee any challenges as a result of the re-alignment of the Ghana Cocoa Board to the Ministry of Agriculture. He asserted that the decision would rather lead to an improvement in the sector, as cocoa is part of the agriculture sector. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon George Boahen Oduro, for appointment as Deputy Minister for Agriculture. Hon Charles Asuako Owiredu -- Deputy Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs Background Mr Charles Asuako Owiredu was born on 7th June, 1975, in Accra but hails from Afosu in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He had his primary education at Englebert International School, Accra, from September 1982 to June 1987 and moved to Kotobabi 5&6 Middle School, Accra, for his Middle School Leaving Certificate from September 1987 to June 1988. In June 1993, the nominee obtained his GCE ‘O' Level Certificate at the Ghana National College, Cape Coast and proceeded to the Komenda Teacher Training College, Komenda, where he obtained his Teacher's Certificate A in June 1996. In 1997 and 1999, he sat as a private candidate in the GCE ‘A' Level examinations. From September 2000 to June 2003, he was in the University of Cape Coast, where he obtained B.Ed. in Social Sciences with Economics as his major. Between September 1996 and June 2000, he was a teacher at the Presbyterian Primary ‘B' School, Agona Swedru. The nominee had his national service as a Political Aide at the Central Regional Coordinating Council, from September 2003 to June 2004. From August 2004 to October 2008, he was a Research Officer and the national TESCON Coordinator at the NPP Headquarters. He was the Director of Karasu Company Limited, Accra, between August 2010 and December 2013. He is currently the Director of International Affairs for the New Patriotic Party. Mr Charles Asuako Owiredu has held various positions at party level and during his days in school. He is currently the Director of Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA), Ghana. He has also been a participant in various international conferences and capacity building programmes, some being the Conservative Party UK Conference in Birmingham, UK, Centre Right Parties Conference in Lilongwe. Nominee's responses to Questions Ghana's interest in the conduct of International Affairs The nominee's attention was drawn to the provisions under article 73 of the Constitution, which states that: “The Government of Ghana shall conduct its international affairs in consonance with the accepted principles of public international law and diplomacy in a manner consistent with the national interest of Ghana”. With reference to this provision, the Committee sought from the nominee what national interest should be the most priority to Ghana, as far as the conduct of international affairs was concerned. The nominee mentioned the area of security as the highest priority, explaining that security is fundamental to human survival and for that reason, it should be given the highest consideration in all foreign policies. Recruitment of personnel for the various missions In reacting to an observation where recruitment of personnel to various missions are mostly skewed towards political lines, the nominee indicated that in most cases, the Government in power has certain foreign agenda to push in the interest of the country. As a result, there is the need to get some political loyalists to ensure successful implementation of such foreign policies. Notwithstanding, he was of the view that the career diplomats possess certain technical competencies and experiences which should be harnessed. The nominee accordingly suggested a ratio of 60:40, for political recruits and career diplomats. High visa costs abroad The Committee brought to the attention of the nominee the concerns of those in the diaspora, about the high cost of securing Ghanaian visa and passport compared to other countries. The nominee assured the Committee that, if given the
nod, he would take up the concerns raised with the Minister and fashion out measures to address the situation, adding that the Government should, at all times, work in the interest of the people. Challenges with securing Ghanaian passport abroad In responding to a question on what specific measures the nominee intends suggesting to the Minister to reduce the processing period for issuance of Ghanaian passports abroad, the nominee informed the Committee that the delay has been occasioned by the fact that fewer number of missions abroad are currently issuing passports. He explained that out of the 57 missions abroad, only six can issue passports. He accordingly pledged to support the Minister to extend the service to all the missions, to ease the pressure on the few and speed up the process. Poor courtesy of some Embassies The Committee enquired from the nominee what he would do to assist the Minister to address the unwelcome treatment by some Embassy staff towards some diplomatic and distinguished persons in the country, as well as Ghanaians in general in an attempt to secure visas to travel into Ghana. In responding to the concerns raised by the Committee, the nominee confirmed ever experiencing such unhealthy treatment. He pledged to support the Hon Minister to engage such Embassies and put the concerns before them for the necessary redress. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon Charles Asuako Owiredu for appointment as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. Hon Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah -- Deputy Minister-designate for Information Background Hon Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah was born on 5th April, 1982 at Koforidua in the Eastern Region. He hails from Akim Anyinase in the Eastern Region. The nominee had his basic education at the Pentecost Primary School in Koforidua, from 1987 to1989. He proceeded to St. Bernadette Soubirous School from 1989 to 1997. He then attended Pope John Senior High School and Junior Seminary from 1998 to 2000. From 2001 to 2005, the nominee obtained his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Cape Coast. From 2011 to 2014, Hon Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). He continued at the Ghana School of Law, from 2014 to 2016, where he passed out as a Professional Lawyer, having obtained his Qualifying Certificate in Law. In 2006, the nominee obtained the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) (Level 1). The nominee undertook his national service at the British American Tobacco, as a Treasury Analyst, from 2005 to 2006. As a Broadcast Journalist, Hon Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah worked with Multi- media Group Limited, Accra, where he served in a number of capacities. While there, he hosted JOY FM's Super Morning Show, from 2006 to 2013. Again, the nominee was the Head of JOY business unit from 2010 to 2012. The nominee resigned from JOY FM and established West Brownstone Capital, where he was the Managing Director from 2014 to 2016. The nominee was an Associate at Bentil Consulting in Accra from 2007 to 2009. Hon Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah was a lawyer under tutelage at Kulendi, Attafuah & Amponsah @ Law, from 2016 to 2017. The nominee is the Member of Parliament for Ofoase/Ayirebi Constituency in the Eastern Region. He serves on the Finance and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committees of Parliament. Nominee's responses to Questions Restructuring of Agencies under the Ministry When asked about his views on restructuring of the agencies under the Ministry of Information, particularly Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Ghana Publishing Corporation (GPC) and the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the nominee stated that these agencies were established with specific mandates that date back to the 1960s. He agreed to the call for restructuring to bring them in line with contemporary technological trends. On restructuring of GBC, for instance, the nominee stated that the digital television reforms currently being undertaken by GBC had created more channels dedicated to various aspects of the society. For instance, the nominee mentioned the GBC Govern channel, which is dedicated to information on governance issues. He resolved to support the Minister to make the individual channels on the GBC digital platforms commercially viable entities in their own rights. On restructuring of GNA, the nominee stated that the basic role of the Agency was to provide newsfeed on all matters for the information of the public and other media outlets. However, the emergence of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, had challenged the modus operandi of the GNA, threatening its very existence. He stated that news feed on social media are current and at times live, while news from GNA are always outdated. The nominee was committed to supporting the Minister to bring technology into the workings of the GNA. On restructuring the Ghana Publishing Corporation (GPC), the nominee stated that since it is a publishing company mainly dedicated for publications, he suggested to the Committee that he would advise Government, through his Minister, to consider giving the GPC quota on all government publications. This will bring the resources needed for effective service delivery. Joy FM as agent for regime change Asked whether Joy FM is an agent for regime change as perceived by many, the nominee answered no. Regulation and media standards The nominee informed the Committee that the National Media Commission exists to ensure the observance of media standards in the country. He stated that in the performance of its mandate, the power of the Commission to sanction, punish and bring sanity in the media space had been limited. To empower the Commission to regulate the media effectively, the nominee proposed the enactment of a broadcasting law, with a strong mandate for the National Media Commission. He indicated that the fear among some that the broadcasting law, when enacted, will censor the media is out of place. On when the Broadcasting Bill would be introduced to Parliament, the nominee could not provide any timelines but
assured the Committee that he would liaise with the sector Minister to agree on the timelines. National Communications Authority (NCA) and the regulation of frequencies Whether the powers of the NCA to grant licenses for the use of spectrum and frequencies can curtail media freedom, the nominee stated that the granting of spectrum and frequency licenses is not the licensing of the media and the content they produce. He stated that he does not share the view, that the mandate of the NCA in regulating the media spectrum restricts media freedom. He maintained that media outlets who do not need media spectrum/frequency should publish their content without any interference from the NCA. The role of the Information Services Department (ISD) The nominee stated that the primary role of the ISD is to disseminate Government policies and programmes to the citizenry. As a result, he indicated that the ISD should have ‘boot on the ground' in all parts of the country. The nominee did not agree to the suggestion that the ISD should embark on a national campaign aimed at changing the attitudes of Ghanaians. He indicated that people's attitudes would only change through strict enforcement of the law and regulations. Regulating social media The nominee stated that the strategy to overcome the ills associated with social media including false identity, impersona- tion, false reportage, fraud and account cloning, was to ensure a verified presence on social media platforms to ensure feedback. He suggested that he would work with the sector Minister to ensure that key Government agencies get verified presence on major social media outlets. Right to Information The nominee did not share the view that the non-existence of Right to Information Law in the country inhibits journalists in their work. He stated that journalists have always gathered the information needed for their work without the existence of the law. He, however, stated his commitment in ensuring that the Right to Information Law becomes a reality. He intimated his resolve to work with the sector Minister to boost the capacity of journalists in the country in gathering information. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah for appointment as Deputy Minister for Information. Hon Nana Dokua Asiamah-Adjei --Deputy Minister-designate for Information Background Hon Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei was born on 24th July, 1982 in Accra and hails from Amonokrom in the Eastern Region. She had her Primary and Junior Secondary Education from 1998 to 1995 and 1995 to 1997 respectively at Alsyd Academy Primary School, Accra. Thereafter, she proceeded to St. Roses Senior Secondary from 1998 - 2000, where she obtained the Senior Secondary School Examination Certificate. She attended the University of Ghana, Legon from 2002 to 2006 and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology. Hon Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei enrolled at the University College of London in 2014 and pursued an LLB programme, which she is yet to complete. She worked at the Accra Metro District of the Ghana Education Service for her national service, from July, 2014 to 2016. She was the founder and Director of Bekleen Limited, from July, 2007 to September, 2016. From August, 2008 to November, 2013, she worked with Pongas Limited and its sister company, Industrial Park Ghana Limited, as Head of sourcing and procurement. She became the Managing Director and Director of Pongas Limited and Industrial Park Ghana Limited, from November 2013 to September 2016. From March, 2014 to September, 2016 she established Ohemea Food Ventures Limited and worked in the capacity of Director. Hon Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei entered Parliament on 7th January, 2017 as a Member of Parliament for the Akwapim North Constituency and serves on the House and Defence and Interior Committees. Nominee's responses to Questions Combining education with her role as a Deputy Minister Asked how she intends to combine her education with her role as a Deputy Minister for Information, the nominee informed the Committee that the course she pursued at the University College of London was a distance learning programme. She told the Committee that she has deferred the programme to enable her concentrate on her role as a Member of Parliament and a Deputy Minister nominee for Information. Essence of the Information Ministry in governance When asked to elaborate on the essence of the Ministry of Information in governance and what the mandate of the Ministry is, the nominee stated that information flow was critical for the progress and success of every government. The Ministry of Information, according to her, is expected to disseminate information relating to government policies, plans and programmes to the public and also get feedback from the public to the Government. She reiterated that the Ministry of Information serves as a bridge between the people and the Government. Revamping the Information Services Department On what she would do to assist the Minister to revamp the Information Services Department (ISD) and make it more relevant to the needs of Government and information delivery in Ghana, the nominee conceded and stated that it was not only the ISD that needed assistance as an agency of the Ministry, and that all the other agencies under the Ministry of Information faced the same plight. She continued that her qualities of good organisational and managerial skills that had propelled her as an entrepreneur to nurture a successful business, would be brought to bear and utilised to assist the Minister revamp the agencies of the Ministry. Disseminating accurate information On whether she would subscribe to the disseminating of accurate information or propaganda for political gains, if given the nod as a Deputy Minister for Information, the nominee assured the Committee that she would only subscribe to accurate
information. She stressed that accurate information is beneficial to governments and that she would be accurate in her reportage to government. Social media and transmission of information On how she would use social media as an effective tool for development, the nominee stated that she, with the two other Deputy Ministers, would support the Minister to be proactive in using social media to disseminate information for the benefit of the public. She also advocated for a social media presence for every public officer, as she believes that if social media is not used positively, other people would use it negatively. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus, the nomination of Hon Nana Dokua Asiamah- Adjei, for appointment as Deputy Minister for Information. Conclusion and general recommendation The Committee has duly considered the nominations of His Excellency the President for Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial appointments in line with the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House and recommends the following thirteen (13) nominees to the House for approval: i. Hon Andy Appiah-Kubi -- Deputy Minister-designate for Railways Development ii. Hon Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum -- Deputy Minister-designate for Education iii. Hon Eugene Boakye Antwi -- Deputy Minister-designate for Works and Housing iv. Hon Barbara Oteng-Gyasi -- Deputy Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources v. Mr Kwasi Boateng Adjei -- Deputy Minister-designate for Local Government and Rural Development vi. Hon Vincent Sowah Odotei -- Deputy Minister-designate for Communications vii. Hon Patrick Yaw Boamah -- Deputy Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources viii. Hon Maj. Derek Oduro (retd) -- Deputy Minister-designate for Defence ix. Hon Dr Sagre Bambangi -- Deputy Minister-designate for Agriculture x. Hon George Boahen Oduro -- Deputy Minister-designate for Agriculture xi. Mr Charles Asuako Owiredu -- Deputy Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs xii. Hon Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah -- Deputy Minister-designate for Information; and xiii. Hon Nana Dokua Asiamah-Adjei -- Deputy Minister-designate for Information. Respectfully submitted.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, let me take a minute of your time. Hon Members, should I repeat what I said? [Hear! Hear!] I said that catching the eye of the Speaker is also subject to good behaviour on the floor of the House. [Laughter.] Hon Deputy Majority Leader, you may now continue.
Mr Speaker, I was on the nominee, Hon Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, a lawyer who had also worked with the Attorney-General's Department and has a lot of experience. In the corporate world as well, she worked with Shell Ghana
Owusu — rose
Hon First Deputy Speaker, I saw that a gentleman behind you wanted to speak --
Mr Speaker, I wanted to effect one correction before --
All right. That is a further correction.
Mr Speaker, my attention has just been drawn to the fact that an Hon Member has been referred to as Mister. Naturally, he would not take kindly to that at all. On page 47, item numbered (v), Hon Kwasi Boateng Adjei. We have already corrected his name but his title there is Mister, instead of Honourable. So, if that correction may be as well effected -- I thank you, Mr Speaker.
The Hon Member for Ledzokuku?
I am very grateful, Mr Speaker. I would like to support the Motion by making a few comments on the Hon Deputy Minister-designate for Com- munications, Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei. Mr Speaker, Mr Odotei is a very fine gentleman with a lot of knowledge in the area of finance, business and sports. I am particularly interested in his exploits at Accra Hearts of Oak. One of the most difficult teams to manage in this country is Accra Hearts of Oak. The reason is very simple; their supporters know nothing in football, apart from winning and when one is managing them, one needs a lot of skill and patience to do well at the club. He indicated during the vetting that his last game was against my own team, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, where he was able to win the match. It is my hope that he would bring his experience also in soccer management to help most of our teams which are struggling to get sponsorship when it comes to the league. I believe most of the teams have had some sponsorships from some of the Telecommunication companies (Telcos) and being a Deputy Minister-designate for Communications, it is my hope that he would bring his experience to bear and help the teams to benefit, so that we can do well when it comes to sports as well as the communications industry. Mr Speaker, the second gentleman I would speak about is Hon Patrick Boamah, the Deputy Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources. Ghana is a very interesting country where we have huge developments and achievements in a lot of sectors. But one of the areas that casts a lot of slur on our reputation is that of sanitation. In most areas, especially the Accra metropolis, we have huge challenges with our sanitary state and it is my hope that he would bring his experience to help the Hon Minister. In fact, when he was nominated as the Hon Deputy Minister-designate for that particular Ministry, I picked a few thoughts from some people who believe that it was not an interesting sector. But Mr Speaker, when one looks at the condition of this country, it is one of the most vital Ministries that if we are able to get a lot of performance from, this country would be better off. Mr Speaker, I would conclude by saying that the transformation agenda we have been talking about in this particular country, can only become meaningful when we have an environment that is clean and healthy.
Hon Members, since there is no further contribution, the Chairperson of the Committee may want to wind up. [Interruption.] Yes, Hon First Deputy Speaker?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
This being the last of the set of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, I wish to extend my profound gratitude to members of the Committee. Mr Speaker, this is the third Parliament I have served in. I have been a member of the Appointments Committee in all three of them. None of them was able to achieve so much within such a short period of time as this Appointments Committee. The members of the Committee have endured long hours of sitting with me and there have been sufficient and useful cooperation and coordination among Hon Members, making the work less difficult. Mr Speaker, I was at the swearing-in of some Deputy Regional Ministers, about a week and half ago and the President was happy to announce that indeed, he has set up the fastest government in the history of the Fourth Republic. That is a commendable feat, but that has been possible because the Appointments Committee had burned the midnight candle and worked so hard to bring Reports. Eleven Reports within the period of three months is so much hard work and I would wish to thank all Hon Members of the Committee and hope that we would continue in future to work together in harmony, notwithstanding all other things. We would continue to work as a team for the country. I thank all Hon Members also for their support. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question put and Motion agreed to.
On behalf of the House and the good people of Ghana, I want to congratulate all of you for the honour that has been bestowed by His Excellency, the President. Hon Majority Leader? [Pause]-- Hon Member for Effutu?
On the original Order Paper?
Hon Member, well, it is just to announce your arrival. [Laughter.] If not, this is a matter that the Table Office could have corrected. All the same, you are recognised. [Laughter.]
This is because, Hon Member, you are aware that this would form part of the proceedings of the House and the Official Report would come before this House and then you would make the corrections. We encourage senior Hon Members of Parliament; because you are not a first timer to do so at the Table Office, but we give room for the young ones to articulate to be able to overcome the stage fright in order to gather the confidence to contribute to the debate. So, you know the right thing to do, but since we have some time, you could come in with such contributions and I think it livens up the House. I can see many Hon Members are now very attentive just because of your intervention. So, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I believe that despite the Hon Colleague getting up to effect the correction, indeed, on number 26 of the Votes and Proceedings, his name has been correctly spelt, ‘Kwamena' with ‘e'.
That is the Votes and Proceedings?
Mr Speaker, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 6th April, 2017.
Votes and Proceedings of 6th April, 2017.
Mr Speaker, so, this perhaps was a minor one. I think one of the reasons for getting up is to establish the fact that the alphabets in the name of the Hon Member for Effutu, certainly are more than the alphabets in Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. Mr Speaker, relating to an issue raised by the Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee, I thought that the practice in this House is that whenever Hon Members appear before a Committee, the title that they assume there, unless, maybe, they have a third degree, is ‘Mr' and that is consistent with the Votes and Proceedings that we have had in this House. Mr Speaker, the Appointments Committee is one of the Committees of this House and I guess we would draw attention to the inconsistency that has been inflicting this House. So, from now on, they should know that because it is a Committee of this House and Hon Members appear before them, we register them as ‘Mr', ‘Ms' or ‘Mrs' unless they have a third degree. Having finished that, I guess we could take the Motion numbered --
Hon Majority Leader, could you come again, I did not hear you? You said the practice is?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee was insisting that those who appeared before the Committee should bear their titles as ‘Honourable'. I am saying that the practice in this House is that when Hon Members appear before any Committee, they assume the title ‘Mr',
Well, the Hon Majority Leader is raising a critical issue which is in conformity with the status of the people appearing before the Committee. They appear as witnesses but with the title, it is something that maybe, we need to go further into. This is because if a ‘Nana' appears before the Appointments Committee, are we going to refer to that ‘Nana' as ‘Mr'? We could say, ‘Nana Mr Alhaji…? [Laughter.] And so, it is something that we need to look into, but I see that the First Deputy Speaker and Hon Chairman of the Committee are on their feet.
Mr Speaker, this is a novel point that my attention is being drawn to. As I have said, I have been on three Appointments Committees, and on the two previous ones, the Leader was an Hon Ranking Member and I do not remember these matters being discussed at the time and I am sure that all the Reports that I saw had the title ‘Honourable. This House is a master of its rules. So, we could discuss at another forum and decide which is the appropriate. I thank the Hon Majority Leader for the observation.
Hon Chairman, do not thank him yet. It is something that we would have to research into to see whether he is right or wrong. So, please, could we go on?
Mr Speaker, we could attend to the Motion numbered 13 on page 6 of the original Order Paper.
Hon Members, item numbered 13 on page 6 of the Order Paper -- Hon Minister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is caught up in a meeting now with His Excellency the President. Mr Speaker, so, with your indulgence --
Hon Majority Leader, let me listen to your Hon Colleagues opposite, whether they have any --
Mr Speaker, I have not even submitted the application.
You were seeking my leave for --
Mr Speaker, yes. But I had not ended. Mr Speaker, so, I was saying that I am seeking your leave and the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues to stand in for the Hon Minister for Finance, and to deal with these Motions.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we have no problem about that, but just to mention that it is becoming an issue that the Hon Minister for Finance does not appear before the House most of the time to do his business on the floor. Mr Speaker, about 30 minutes ago, I saw the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Hon Kwaku Kwarteng, also -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, they have not been sworn in but they appeared before the Estimates Committee and defended the Budget Estimates at that Committee. Mr Speaker, so, we hope that when the House reconvenes in the next Meeting, the Hon Minister for Finance would take the House seriously and come here to do his business.
Mr Speaker, I am not certain that the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is indicating to us that when the Hon Kwaku Kwarteng appeared before them, he pretended to be the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance. He did not. Mr Speaker, so, with your indulgence and that of the House, may I move the Motion?
Hon Majority Leader, I do not think that they have any objection. So, you could move the Motion.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Hon Members, we would move to item numbered 14 on the Order Paper.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, I beg to present the Report. Introduction The Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2017 was presented and read the First Time in the House on 30th March 2017, by the Minister for Finance, Hon Ken Ofori-Atta. The Bill was subsequently referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 179 (8) and (9) of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House. The Committee met and considered the Bill with the Chief Director and other officials from the Ministry of Finance. The Committee is grateful to the Chief Director and the other officials of the Ministry of Finance for attending upon the Committee. References The Committee referred to and was guided by the following documents inter alia, during its deliberations on the Bill: The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana Interpretation Act, 2009 (Act 792) The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 Financial Year; The Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Budget for the 2016 Financial Year. After the approval of the 2016 Budget by Parliament, there arose significant domestic and global developments which impacted the economy. Those develop- ments mainly related to the decline in benchmark crude oil prices from US$53.05 pbl to a range of US$45 - US$48 pbl at the end of June, 2016. Again, the turret bearing of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah developed a defect, which adversely affected crude oil and gas production for the first half of 2016. Furthermore, there was an increased rebel and pirate activities in the ECOWAS sub-region which also adversely affected the supply of gas to Ghana. These developments led to Supple- mentary Estimates being approved to support government operations for the year. Object of the Bill The object of the Bill is to provide for the withdrawal of sums of money from the Consolidated Fund and other funds for supplementary appropriation to meet government expenditure for the financial year ending 31st of December, 2016. The specific purposes for which the sums are appropriated have been specified in the schedules to the Bill, all of them geared towards providing additional funding for efficiently carrying out the services of the Government for the 2016 Financial Year. Observation Approval of Supplementary Estimates The Committee observed that Parlia- ment, on the 4th day of August 2016, approved Supplementary Estimates in the sum of one billion, eight hundred and eighty-eight million, two hundred and three thousand, three hundred and eighty-seven Ghana cedis (GH¢1,888,203,- 387.00) for the purposes of providing additional financing to carry out government operations for the 2016 financial year. Legal basis The Committee noted the provisions of clause 8 of article 179 of the 1992 Constitution which stipulates that: “Where, in respect of a financial year, it is found that the amount of moneys appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient or that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no sum of moneys has been appropriated by that Act, a supplementary estimate showing the sum of money required, shall be laid before Parliament for its approval”. It is further provided in clause 9 of the same article that: “Where, in the case of a financial year, a supplementary estimate has been approved by Parliament in accor- dance with clause (8) of this article, a Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be introduced into Parliament in the financial year next following the financial year to which the estimate relates, providing for the appropria- tion of the sum so approved for the purposes specified in that estimate”. The Committee observed that the introduction of the Bill in 2017 to provide for the appropriation of the sum approved as Supplementary Estimate in 2016 is indeed, pursuant to the above provisions of the Constitution. Effective period The Committee noted that the Bill when passed shall be deemed to have come into effect on the 4th day of August, 2016. Amendments proposed i. Clause 1 -- amendment proposed -- Line 4, delete “Stabilisation Fund” and insert “other funds” ii. Long Title -- amendment proposed -- line 1, after “Fund” insert “and other funds”. Recommendation and conclusion The Committee recommends that the sum of money not exceeding one billion, eight hundred and eighty-eight million, two hundred and three thousand, three hundred and eighty-seven Ghana cedis (GH¢ 1,888,203,387.00), be approved to be issued from the Consolidated Fund and for withdrawal from other funds for the purposes of providing additional financing for Government operations during the 2016 financial year. Pursuant to the above, the Committee recommends to the House to pass the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2017 into law, subject to the amendments proposed. Respectfully submitted. Question proposed.
In the absence of any further contribution --
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, this is just a minor correction. The Hon Ranking Member in starting his own intervention, referred to the Motion that has been moved by the Hon Majority Leader. Respectfully, I did not move the Motion in my capacity as the Hon Majority Leader. I moved it on behalf of the Minister for Finance, in my capacity as the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. In my capacity as the Hon Majority Leader, I could not have moved that Motion. Mr Speaker, this is the minor correction that I wanted to fix. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2017 was accordingly read a Second time.
Item numbered 15.
The same item has been repeated on the Order Paper Addendum as item numbered 10. Any seconder?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
We now move to item numbered 16 on page 5 of the original Order Paper and item numbered 11 on page 7 on the Order Paper Addendum. The proposed amendments are captured in the Order Paper Addendum. So, let us use the one on page 7 of the Order Paper Addendum. The Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2017 now at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
There is an amendment. Chairman of the Committee, please, move your amendment.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 1, line 4, delete “Stabilisation Fund” and insert “other funds”. Mr Speaker, in line 4, we have Consolidated Fund and Stabilisation Fund. As we would all recall, when we did the Appropriation last Friday, we settled on this language “Consolidated Fund and other funds”. More so, if you go into the fiscal table in the Supplementary Appropriation, you would realise that moneys were drawn from other funds, including even the Road Funds. So, this new rendition would be appropriate; “Consolidated Fund and other funds”. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 1 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill. The Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill. Long Title -- An Act to provide for the withdrawal of sums of money from the Consolidated Fund for Supplementary Appropriation to meet Government expenditure for the financial year ending 31st December, 2017. 5. 40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Long Title, line 1, after “Fund” insert “and other funds.” Mr Speaker, this is in line with what we did earlier on clause 1.
It is actually consequential.
Yes, so, it would read: “An Act to provide for the withdrawal of sums of money from the Consolidated Fund and other funds”. Question put and amendment agreed to. Long Title as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
This brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage. Hon Majority Leader? Suspension of Standing Order 131 (1)
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 131(1) which require that when a Bill has passed through the Consideration Stage, the Third Reading thereof shall not be taken until at least twenty-four hours have elapsed, the Motion for the Third Reading of the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2017 may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Item numbered 13, Hon Minister for Finance?
BILLS -- THIRD READING
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I beg to propose that we move into a Closed Sitting to deal with some unfinished business before us.
This application is in accordance with Order 44 of our Standing Orders. Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I support the proposal for the House to go into a Closed Sitting to consider a very important issue.
I accordingly order that the House go into Closed Sitting for some of the items on the Order Paper to be taken. We would after that Sit in plenary again. So, we would go into Closed Sitting now.
Mr Speaker, let me just give an indication to our Friends in the media that the House is not adjourning yet, so, we would come back. The Closed Sitting would last no longer than 20 or 30 minutes.
Hon Majority Leader, did you say 30 minutes?
Mr Speaker, a maximum of 30 minutes.
So, Hon Members, we would move into Closed Sitting now. 05.47 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 7.30 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Hon Members, we should adieu with matters arising from the Report of the Special Committee to investigate the bribery allegation against the Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee and some members of the Committee.
[Resumption of debate from 30 th March, 2017.]
Hon Members, on 31st January, 2017, Parliament approved a Motion to appoint a Special Committee under Order 191 of the Standing Orders. Order 191 provides as follows: “The House may at any time by Motion, appoint a Special or Ad Hoc Committee to investigate any matter of public importance...” At the time, some members were suggesting that the matter that had arisen, that is, the allegation of bribery against the Chairman and some members of the Appointments Committee should be referred to the Privileges Committee. Others spoke differently. I took a contrary view in saying that I was more inclined towards Standing Order 191. This was to give the issue of bribery, and whoever may be involved a broader look. I also asked the meetings to be held in public for the avoidance of doubt. We expected the Committee to do a thorough job and they did. Order 30 (a) to (n) sets out acts or conduct that constitute a breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament. Standing Order 30 (2) also provides that any act or omission which affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends either directly, or indirectly to bring the name of Parliament into disrepute, is also a breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament. Having found that there was no evidence to support the allegations relating to bribery that had been made, the Special Committee went on to make recommendations to the House. On Thursday, 30th March, 2017, the whole of the Report of the Special Committee, including the recommendations on contempt and the sanctions to be meted out, was adopted unanimously by the Honourable House. At that juncture, the Hon Ayariga was effectively asked by Parliament, not by any other person or myself, to apologise. Unfortunately, this was not forthcoming in the manner any respectable institution would have expected. With magnanimity in mind, I gave the Hon Ayariga an opportunity to advise himself. He has done so today. Hon Members, I would ask the Hon Ayariga, who had written an unqualified apology to the House, to please read same at this juncture.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, pursuant to paragraph 141 of the Report of your Committee, I render an unqualified apology to this august Parliament. Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me another opportunity.
Hon Ayariga, I would ask you to read your own letter dated 3rd April, 2017. If you do not have a copy, I would let the Table Office give same to you to read out.
Mr Speaker, I recall that there were series of communications. So, I am not clear which letter --
Hon Ayariga, that is why I am about to give it to you. [Interruptions] -- Hon Members, order! [Pause] --
Mr Speaker, I did not have a copy that was why, so, I would read it so that Hon Members who are listening would see, if there is a difference between what I said and what is written.
“Apology pursuant to the recommendations of the special ad hoc Committee of Parliament. Pursuant to paragraph 141 of the Report of the Special Committee to investigate the bribery allegation and the decision of this Honourable House adopting the Report, I hereby render an unqualified apology to this Honourable House of Parliament. Thank you.” Mr Speaker, that is what it says.
Hon Members, order!
Hon Members, I will make a few other important observations and then finally conclude the matter as I deem fit. The Dignity, Discipline and Decorum of Parliament are fundamental to serious parliamentary governance. They are indeed the “Three Ds” of parliamentary practice. Those who flout the “Three Ds” undermine the good governance we seek in this nation. If Ghana wants represen- tative governance, and to uphold human rights which some sought to deny Ghanaians at some stage and which others fought for, then the Three Ds must be upheld. In Ghana, in the famous case of J. H. Mensah vrs Attorney-General, the unique strength of Parliament was duly recognised, proclaiming Parliament as its own master of its rules, procedures and processes. Throughout the civilised world -- and we have shining examples from UK., USA, India, et cetera -- the dignity of the people's representative House has been upheld, together with its regulatory and enforcement powers. Parliament can exact punishment which may include warning, suspension and expulsion. Our Standing Orders are clear on this. In 2005, the Lok Sabha in India expelled 11 Members of Parliament in one day for receiving cash for the purpose of asking questions in Parliament for some people. The Supreme Court of India affirmed the decision of Parliament. It said unequivocally that no Court can review the decision of Parliament in its powers to deal with matters of contempt affecting it. (See Tej Kiran Jain V. N. Sanjiva Reddy). It is a quintessential feature of the time old doctrine of Separation of Powers. Various Parliaments have taken such steps to gain their dignity. We will get there very soon if Ghana's Parliament should gain respect. There have been perceptions and allegations of bribery in the past. This is why this particular case was taken up seriously and with public sittings. Everyone should ensure that he/ she is not caught in any future scandal. Otherwise, the full rigours of the law will apply. The essence of it all is “self-regulation” of Parliament. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana, having given extensive privileges to MPs in article 115-121, recognised the good old dictum, that is, to whom much is given, much is expected. Article 115 says: “There shall be freedom of speech, debate and proceedings in Parliament and that freedom shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place OUT OF PARLIAMENT” (emphasis added). Your freedoms cannot be impugned nor questioned anywhere, not in any court. But that does not mean we can do unbridled things. Our self regulation means we must handle indisciple or unlawful behaviour right in this Parliament. In the case at hand, the Hon First Deputy Speaker should be constrained in going to court for whatever another Hon Member said in the course of our business here. So, is he without remedy? No, he is not. He cannot go to court actually. In fact, the permission he sought cannot be granted. But he can come to the court of Parliament. Indeed, Parliament has the full right and duty to investigate the matter to punish whoever should be punished in such a case, but within Parliament. Furthermore, article 122 in providing on “Contempt of Parliament”, refers to: “An act or omission which obstructs or impedes Parliament in the performance of its functions or which obstructs or impedes a member or officer of Parliament in the discharge of his/her duties, or affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends either directly or indirectly to produce that result, is contempt of Parliament.” This provision is wide and all- encompassing. If anyone, Member of Parliament or non-Member of Parliament takes a bribe, it would impede our work; if someone falsely accuses an Hon Member in that connection, it will impede our work. Anything whatsoever, direct or indirect, which is opprobrious to an Hon Member, Committee or the House and will render this Honourable House to ridicule, disaffection, disrespect or contempt in the eyes or minds of right thinking members of this nation, should be dealt with and punished. By whom? By Parliament, so says the Constitution and our law. Sub-Part Two of our Standing Orders, headed “Contempt of Parliament or Breach of Privileges”, captures this as well: “Any act or omission which affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends either directly, or indirectly to bring the name of Parliament into disrepute” is contempt. It is worthy of note, that a code of conduct for Members of Parliament is in the offing and should be completed with speed, so as to put the conduct expected of Hon Members beyond any doubt whatsoever. In all the circumstances of this case, I have come to the conclusion that the Hon Ayariga should be shown the quality of mercy on this occasion. May he go and sin no more. [Hear! Hear!] He is warned never to peddle such expensive rumours any more in his affairs in this House. I must also extend a warning to some four or five Hon Members who deemed it proper to make untoward noise, apparently in support of Hon Ayariga regarding the conduct for which the Hon Ayariga has now apologised.
Hon Ayariga, if this should be repeated in the future, after today's ruling, you will have yourself to blame. I trust the Hon First Deputy Speaker, the Hon Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka and the entire House would forgive and put this matter to rest. Hon Members, we shall go on to matters regarding our closing this evening. In that connection, I would call the Hon Minority Leader. Closing Remarks
Mr Speaker, too soon, the First Meeting of the First Session of the Seventh Parliament officially comes to an end today. Thanks to your guidance, this was the longest First Meeting ever under the Fourth Republic and since the 1992 Constitution of Ghana was promulgated. The House Sat for thirteen weeks, a week longer than initially planned. Mr Speaker, undoubtedly, this Meeting has been very eventful. It witnessed the swearing in of your goodself as a distinguished academic, former Member of Parliament, Diplomat and Speaker of the august House. It also saw the emergence of the new Leadership of Parliament. To wit, I have the task and responsibility of leading the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as the Hon Minority Leader in Parliament. Mr Speaker, Parliament was officially inaugurated on 7th January, 2017 with almost fifty per cent of Hon Members elected to the House for the first time. That presented some challenges to Mr Speaker and to the Leadership as there were some urgent businesses to consider and Hon Members needed to go through basic rudiments of understanding Parliamentary Procedure and Practice. Thanks to your instrumentality and guidance, some induction and training courses were organised for all Hon Members of Parliament to understand the rules of this House. Mr Speaker, we appreciate that and I believe that, even as Hon Members struggle to acquaint themselves with the Standing Orders, many are now getting used to it. I have seen some Hon Members seek to raise quorum, even when Mr Speaker has not moved to Public Business. That probably indicates that there is more that can be done in terms of the learning curve. Mr Speaker, challenging as it may be, we also witnessed within this period, the formation of all the Committees of Parliament; the Standing Committees and the Select Committees of Parliament were accordingly constituted with delegations sent to the Pan-African Parliament and the ECOWAS Parliament, notwithstanding some of the embarrassing details which emerged from the ECOWAS Parliament that has subsequently been corrected. Thanks to magnanimity of our Hon Colleagues and thanks to your guidance, we have been able to resolve it and that indicates that we should continue to respect the Protocols of the ECOWAS Parliament and that whenever a Hon Member becomes an Hon Minister, that Hon Minister should accordingly resign as we witnessed today. Mr Speaker, a major activity of this Meeting was the work of the Appoint- ments Committee of Parliament. I should thank the Hon Chairman; I ranked him at that level to consider the President's now famous ‘Club 110 Ministers of State' -- [Laughter] -- of an elephant's Government with an elephant size accordingly. That provided some exhausting work for the Appointments Committee. Mr Speaker, we have been able to weather the storm, thanks to the Hon Chairman and many others. I believe that accordingly, almost all the appointees have been vetted and approved by plenary and this august House and many, if not for those outstanding today, have been sworn in by His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo. Mr Speaker, that means you guided this House to assist the President to do his primary task; to compose and constitute Government. The people of Ghana in December, 2016, voted for change and their change was eloquently to say, that they wanted to see a new way of doing things, new policies which address their concerns. Mr Speaker, as I address you today, however, there is a very worrying development in our country, which is the emergence of what may potentially become a terrorist group in our country, and the disrespect of the fundamental rights and freedoms of others, even to the extent that — Mr Speaker, with your permission, let me quote His Excellency the President when he appeared before us to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. He had this to say about some of the political disturbances that witnessed a peaceful, and undoubtedly, one of the best political transitions of our country. Said he: “It appears that these events were predicted on some concept of equalisation as they happened in 2009 and were repeated in 2017. I condemn all such conducts and I call on all political parties, especially the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to ensure that this is the last time such undignified acts occur during the periods of transition.” Mr Speaker, we have long passed the transition period. There is a President and a Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, and as I reminded us, not Commander-In-Chief of the Invincible Forces or Delta Forces. The peace and security of this country would not be compromised at the altar of any political expediency. We expect the President to go beyond his token intervention into exacting with his full weight and authority, as Commander-In-Chief, to call those masquerading activists, who are now engaged in some contemptible acts, to the extent of extending this lawlessness to the court of law, to order. Mr Speaker, that is unbecoming of our democracy. We just demonstrated to the rest of the world -- and we do not want the President to make this historically inevitable -- that he would preside over a State which is not able to control those hooligans who are engaged in those activities and threatening life and property and extending it to a court of competent jurisdiction. Mr Speaker, by all standards, that would constitute contemptible act. For those of us who are familiar with the law, we have contempt in-facie curia or contempt ex-facie curia. This may even
Mr Speaker, that is why we protested. At least, our understanding should be respected, especially for the First Meeting. At the Business Committee, it was agreed, and — Mr Speaker, I should commend you for your guidance when you said that we should concentrate on critical Ministries and allow, for example, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy, and Ministry of the Interior and others to have one Deputy each. We loaded it on at the Appointments Committee to deal with that in order that the President would have full representation to be able to constitute his Government. If we were let down by what was agreed on as a Business Committee, so that on Wednesday, 5th April, 2017 we would concentrate, that should not be blamed on the Minority and the Minority should not be described as running away or not wanting to work. This is the reason we protested. The agreement was that on Wednesday, 5th April, 2017, we would deal with those we have been able to consider, notwithstanding the fact that we had told the public, that, they would be considered sometime in May, 2017. But because of Mr Speaker's request to act urgently and diligently, we agreed to vet. Sometimes, we increased the number from six to seven, and in some instances, the Appointments Committee had to sit late into the night. Mr Speaker, this Meeting also witnessed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, pursuant to article 67 of the Constitution, address this House on the Message on the State of the Nation and gave us blueprints on what policy direction he intends to take this country. It was followed by the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government which said, ‘Ghana Beyond Aid'. We know that Ghana is already beyond aid and that the country is not governed dependent on external resources, even though some external resources support other sectors of our economy. Mr Speaker, this year, it is estimated that tax revenue would be about GH¢34 billion. We know that an earmarked policy was introduced by the Hon Minister for Finance. Looking at some GH¢4.5 billion, we anticipate that there would be over GH¢8.5 billion expenditure and therefore, there would still be some shortfalls. Mr Speaker, let me use this opportunity to thank you for your leadership and guidance. I would like to say that we in the Minority have never said that we should have our way. We know that the people of Ghana voted for a multi-party State, with the New Patriotic Party in dominance. At least, as a Minority, we should have our say; we should not be denied the opportunity and privilege to have our say on all national matters of significance. As we depart to our various constituencies to celebrate Easter with our constituents, I can only wish our Colleague Members of Parliament God's travelling mercies and guidance in whatever endeavours we might engage until probably, we would be able to meet somewhere in May, when the House reconvenes. I would like to thank the Clerk to Parliament and his staff. I cannot stop commending him for his support and services to the House. I am confident that he would continue to provide Hon Members and the House with quality and unbiased advice, to enable Hon Members discharge their responsibilities. I would like to note that sometimes, when Mr Speaker ruled that Reports should be distributed, we got them late. We do not want a repeat of the past and an equalisation that it happened in the past. We expect that the Clerk to Parliament and his staff would make sure that when Mr Speaker rules, Reports would be made available. We also expect that Members of Parliament would diligently peruse them in order to make meaningful contributions to the decisions of the House. Mr Speaker, a while ago, I had the opportunity to support the Hon Majority Leader to receive a petition on galamsey, a worrying threat to our national security, environment and water bodies. We must collectively resolve as a country to declare zero tolerance for galamsey. We must also resolve collectively to respect the mining laws of our country. Those particularly dedicated to Ghanaians must be for Ghanaians within small-scale mining. We must exact maximum sanctions on any person engaged in this act without fear or favour. Let me thank all my Colleague Members of Parliament. Perfection is not with all of us and we probably would have erred once or twice in our actions. Mr Speaker, I think that we have had a good beginning, guided by your leadership. Be assured that we would cooperate with you as Leadership, to administer the affairs of this House. I cannot conclude, but once again say, our security agencies must assist the President to nip the growing threats to the peace of this country in the bud. To the Press Corps and media, they have done their best. In this age of technology, they are taking advantage of Information Technology (IT). They must be mindful of reputations in the things that they publish. Sometimes, the half comments they publish about Members of Parliament take our comments out of context. They have been responsible enough and accurate in some of their reportage, though. Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you, once again, for your leadership and support. To my Hon Colleagues, I say we are most grateful.
Thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, while you were away, as the Hon Minority Leader alluded to, a coalition led by Citi FM presented a petition to you. I received same on your behalf, condemning the activities of galamsey operators and strongly urged us to take measures to stop this menace. Mr Speaker, galamsey is not only destroying the natural resources of this country, but impoverishing our citizens, affecting them with diseases and leaving the future bleak for posterity. It is important that we hold together as a collective, to deal decisively with this menace. Mr Speaker, today marks the end of the First Meeting of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic. The House has conscientiously carried out a number of important assignments within this maiden Meeting, thus giving an important and early indication of its support towards continued good governance in the country. We are profoundly thankful to the Almighty God for what has been achieved. We also beseech Him, humbly, to continue to grant us guidance, wisdom and the spirit of togetherliness, as we endeavour to expand the frontiers of democracy in the country. Mr Speaker, this remarkable success could not have been achieved without your involvement, as well as that of your Deputies, the cooperation of the Leadership of the Committees of the House, Colleague Members of Parliament, the Parliamentary Service as well as my Hon Colleagues of the Leadership in managing the rather loaded schedules of the House. May I also commend the Parliamentary Press Corps for coverage of the activities of the House to ensure that the people we represent have knowledge of what enterprise we undertake. Mr Speaker, in line with his constitutional obligations, the President presented his 2017 State of the Nation Address to this House. The Minister for Finance also presented the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government, after his appointment as Minister, to enable the House consider the Government's Budget Statement and Economic Policy and subsequently pass the Appropriation Bill. On behalf of Hon Members, I wish to express the gratitude of the House to H.E. the President and the Hon Minister for Finance, for their response to these constitutional imperatives which contributed largely to the completion of Business of the House on schedule. Mr Speaker, some important issues the House considered include the composition of Standing and Select Committees, appointment of Members of the Parliamentary Service Board, nomination of Members to represent Ghana at the Pan-African Parliament and ECOWAS Parliament. Consideration of the President's nominations for Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial Appointments. Other important matters are the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Bill, 2017. Petroleum and other related (Amendment) Bill, Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017. A near tragedy that befell the House had to do with the ripping of a portion of the roof of the Chamber Block, while business was being transacted. The integrity of the roof of this Chamber must be interrogated in order to forestall any future occurrence. In the meantime, we must commend the prompt response by Messrs ADK, our local consultants. Mr Speaker, this Meeting has suffered a major jolt which disturbed the very foundation of the House. I relate to the shocking allegation of bribery that clouded the approval of Mr Boakye Agyarko, Hon Minister for Energy. The allegation was to the effect that members of the Appointments Committee, through its Chairman and further through the Hon Minority Chief Whip, received monetary gains before unanimously recommending for approval of the nomination of the above-mentioned Minister. Mr Speaker, the Committee that was set up, as you related to a few moments ago, accordingly reported its findings to the House. Today, the House has done what, in my view, would bring this matter to a closure. My prayer is that, never again should the House suffer such self-afflicted mortal wound. Last Wednesday, the Minority Caucus on the Appointments Committee withdrew from the Committee, citing exhaustion in the main as the reason for non- participation. That event, I reiterate, was most unfortunate. Mr Speaker, that development notwithstanding, I would wish to place on record the very high level of cooperation the Majority Caucus received from the Minority Caucus and the ever increasing receptiveness of the Majority Caucus to the views and opinions of the Minority Caucus. Mr Speaker, notwithstanding this event, I would wish to place on record that, it is my hope that the cooperation and friendship that is visibly emerging across the divide of the House, for various purposes would continue throughout the tenure of this Parliament. The induction programme which was effected in the very early weeks of this Meeting did considerable good and this Parliament would begin to advertise a desirable and remarkable capacity to build a Legislature which is a conglomeration of ideas and of which our people can be proud. Mr Speaker, the Post-Budget Workshop held after the Budget Statement was read, also assisted Parliament, as it provided in-depth insight into the principles underpinning the Budget Statement. The lessons learnt by
Leadership was to include all Hon Members of the House in such future meetings, to ensure that each Hon Member benefits from these rich engagements. Mr Speaker, in accordance with constitutional provisions, His Excellency the President nominated majority of his Ministers and Deputy Ministers from Parliament. This would occasion the re- composition of the membership of the Committees to reflect the tenets of the House, to engender a tranquil environment devoid of conflict of interest situations, as well as ensure that the work of the House is not hampered due to these appointments. Mr Speaker, another issue that has been on the back burner is the approval of the reviewed Standing Orders. The current Standing Orders was last reviewed in 2000 and successive Parliaments have tried to review it since then. The current draft contains far-reaching provisions that are consistent with best practices anywhere in the world. It is my view that the draft orders would engage the attention of the House when it resumes Sitting in May 2017. Mr Speaker, this may mean that we would have to make space and time to deal with any outstanding matter which is connected to the reviewing of the Standing Orders, so that in May, when we resume, we shall deal with a new set of Standing Orders. Mr Speaker, in spite of the latter day shenanigans the Appointments Com- mittee suffered, it must be commended for the hard work that it put in to ensure that the House considered H.E. the President's nominations for the positions of Hon Ministers of State, Hon Regional Ministers of State, Hon Deputy Ministers and Hon Regional Deputy Ministers. Mr Speaker, it was good that the Hon Minority Leader spoke to what was undesirable in the recent past. Hooliganism, machoism, landguard issues, political impunity and brink- manship have been with this country, especially since 1996, when we entered into the realm of the Fourth Republic. Mr Speaker, we should hold together to unequivocally condemn when human beings descend into the realm of bestiality; the House should hold together to condemn what happened the day before yesterday and yesterday. Mr Speaker, we in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), would not line up to append signatures to support such bestialities. We would not. [Hear! Hear!] What is unjustifiable is unjustifiable. Mr Speaker, we should show spine when it matters -- [Interruption] -- and people should have patience and listen. We should not be one-sided. We should hold together to condemn what is condemnable. Mr Speaker, the House rises today for the Easter break. I wish all Hon Members a very dutiful but nonetheless, a well- earned restful and enjoyable Easter recess. It is expected that Hon Members would exercise greater diligence on their return to the House in May, by not only being regular and punctual at Sittings, but also participating fully in the Business of the House. Mr Speaker, I once again thank you very much indeed. May the good Lord bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong. [Pause] --
Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader. Hon Members, the entire House associates itself with the fight against galamsey led by some patriotic journalists. When we return in May, I would discuss with Leadership, a team of Leadership and Hon Members would take a tour to relevant areas of our dear nation pursuant to able Statements made in this House, and this House would play a leading role to find an answer to the galamsey menace. Hon Minority Leader, just in case you may want to say something about the galamsey matter -- You both met them and the Hon Majority Leader has had the opportunity to make reference to it. If you feel inclined to say something about it, I would give you the opportunity. Hon Minority Leader, are you satisfied?
Mr Speaker, I briefly touched on it in my concluding remarks, and I thank you for the opportunity.
Hon Members, I would give my Closing Remarks. Hon Members, Order! Hon Members, I would crave your indulgence to give some good ear to some of the things that I would want to say and have to say for our betterment. Hon Members, I graciously thank the Almighty God for His guidance and bountiful blessings for bringing us this far. I convey my gratitude to the Leadership and Hon Members of the House, for every cooperation and support which have enabled us to get this far. I look forward with great optimism, that we shall continue to make even more progress in the future. This House represents all our people. As I love to say, when Parliament meets, the whole of Ghana has met. Being the elected representatives of the people of Ghana, let us be resolved to serve Ghana dutifully and serve as a shining example. Hence, let us watch our punctuality during the next Session and also tackle the business as a whole, with stronger commitment and assiduity. Our people are watching. We are looking forward to electronic registration upon attendance. I trust that it would be in place when we resume. From the Speaker to every Member of Parliament, official or worker, we shall all clock in and out and the record would be kept and known to those who pay us. All of us should be duty conscious and duty bound at all times and be above reproach. It is my hope and prayer that our turnout to work in the Chamber, and indeed, to all business in the House, subsequently, would be timely and serious. Secondly, we should all be of the same mind, that we should not compromise the dignity of the House through our conduct, dressing or pronouncement. It is required that Hon Members dress formally when attending to all Sittings of the House.
As the House goes on recess, let me humbly appeal to Committees of the House that may have unfinished business to find time during the recess to complete them, so that the House would consider their reports on resumption of the House. The media should please note that Hon Members of Parliament do a lot of work during the recess. This should be appreciated. Hon Members, I hope you would take very good care of yourselves during the recess, attend to your constituents with outmost commitment and ensure that you sustain the trust reposed in you. Please, get ready with Questions, Statements and Motions, et cetera, to help enrich the parliamentary landscape, as we return after the break. Very soon, Hon Members could explore the use of Private Member's Bill to address several areas in the socio-economic lives of Ghanaians, which would further enhance the trust and confidence of our people which they have reposed in you. I am glad to announce that the British Parliament has invited a sizeable delegation, comprising the Speaker, Leaders and Clerks to visit the United Kingdom (UK) by the end of this very month, to consider aspects of Private Member's Bill. I must congratulate Hon Members for very well researched Statements made on the floor of the House, and the various rich contributions made thereon. I congratulate you for every serious effort made. When we resume, follow-up steps shall be taken in cooperation with the relevant Committees, to ensure follow-up mechanisms in our work. We are seriously considering a Committee on Parliamentary Assurances to consider these matters further. We would deal with a number of important issues without appropriate follow-ups. This would change. We should conclude our work on the proposed Ethics/Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament, revision of the Standing Orders, the future of the Parliamentary Training Institute, the status of which must be raised very high and in affiliation with a reputable university. We have had donor assurances of support in this regard and we shall pursue this seriously. Hon Members, furthermore, the construction of a new Chamber block and developments of all lands belonging to Parliament would be considered to the benefit of Parliament. We should have developers come and assist us undertake useful projects on pieces of land belonging to Parliament, which I have identified. Without spending money, we can use these lands in conjunction with developers, to provide accommodation for Members of Parliament who have been in hotels at great cost to Parliament and to their own discomforts. Furthermore, the whole of the environs of Parliament should be developed and recognised as a Parliamentary enclave. We shall take this up with the Presidency. This Honourable House was rocked by allegations of bribery by the Hon Mahama Ayariga. Thankfully, we have come to the end of it openly and Parliament is exonerated. Hon Members, I have some concerns that I must address at this stage. I entreat you to assist me in steering the affairs of the House with dignity. In our daily prayer in the House, we humbly beseech the Almighty God to look with favour upon this Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, and that the Almighty should grant Parliament the ability to perform its high duty as in His sight. It is, therefore, expected of all Hon Members to exhibit qualities that are acceptable to God and fellow citizens. Indeed, Hon Members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that would uphold the dignity of the House, not in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing the House or a Member's position into disrepute. For the purposes of upholding the dignity of the institution of Parliament, let me start by making a general statement on standards expected of an Hon Member. A Member must dress decently to uphold the integrity and dignity of Parliament and the Office of a Member of Parliament. The dress code for a Member of Parliament may be formal traditional African attire, male or female; formal European suit with tie, male or female; a formal oriental or ancient attire; a cleric attire or other approved formal apparel. A Member shall not wear skimpy revealing clothing that is offensive to public decency within the precincts of Parliament. Hon Members, order! A Member shall not carry walking stick into the Chamber, unless on health grounds — [Laughter]— or permitted by the Speaker. Hon Members, order! If in doubt, watch the European and Nigerian Parliaments. You would see exactly what I mean by what I am saying. And in the military barracks, no officer is allowed to take his hat into the real dining room. There is a place where you hang your hats before you walk in. An Hon Member shall not enter the Chamber with his coat hanging on his shoulder or on his arm. An Hon Member shall not use offensive, abusive, insulting or blasphemous words. An Hon Member shall not impute improper motive to any other Hon Member, make personal allusions, threaten or intimidate another Hon Member. An Hon Member shall not bring or display firearms or any other offensive weapon within, even the very precincts of Parliament. An Hon Member shall not sit or stand with his or her back to the person presiding in the House. The Hon Second Deputy Speaker made a useful statement this afternoon, that catching the eye of the Rt Hon Speaker also depends on conduct. An Hon Member cannot turn his or her back to the Chair and be conversing with others with due disregard, only for him or her to stand up the next moment and expect the Rt Hon Speaker to recognise him or her. [Laughter.] That is what the
An Hon Member shall not smoke within the precincts of Parliament not designated as a smoking area. An Hon Member shall not tear off official documents in protests; an Hon Member shall not act in a manner which would offend the dignity or integrity of the House. In addressing the House, an Hon Member shall speak from his or her seat and not from another Hon Member's seat. In fact, doing so infringes our own Standing Order 86(1) in clear words. Hon Members, it is an offence for an Hon Member to argue with another Hon Member who is on his feet making his or her argument. In contributing to debates, Hon Members should adhere to the principles of relevance and avoid playing to the gallery as this degenerates the debate and creates disorder. Hon Members must always, please, have in mind the provisions of Standing Order 93 (4), which stipulate that: “The speech of a Member must have reference to the subject matter under discussion.” The appropriate rules on the interruption of debate under Standing Orders 91 to 93 will be duly enforced in the future. Hon Members are entreated to Hon Members permitted to speak should do well to avoid provoking controversy, which of course, would urge Hon Members to interrupt. An Hon Member cannot interrupt another Hon Member speaking on a point of order with counter points of order and so on. Hon Members, it is out of order for an Hon Member to shout across the divide, or yell at one another; it is not honourable for Hon Members. Hon Members, another worrisome situation we should avoid is background noise. I have often observed regrettably, that numerous private chats take place among Hon Members, some of them with their backs to the Chair while debate is going on. An Hon Member addressing the House must be heard in silence, just as the Rt Hon Speaker is to be heard in silence. As per Standing Order 97, it is not dignifying or decorous for Hon Members to be chatting in the background when an Hon Colleague is addressing the House. Hon Members, permit me to draw your attention to the fact that an Hon Member should not sit or stand with the Hon Member's back facing the Chair. Hon Members would agree with me that such conduct is not only frowned upon in various Ghanaian cultures, but in other jurisdictions. One cannot see this in the chief's palace or at a serious meeting of a family that respects itself. Loitering and malingering are not allowed in the Chamber. Hon Members should not leave the House immediately after finishing their speeches. This is contempt, because other Hon Members listened to you while you talked, so, what makes you think that the moment you are finished, you must leave? [Laughter.] These are seriously discourteous. May I at this point draw the attention of Hon Members to Standing Order 46 (1), which says that: “During the existence of Parliament, the Mace shall be the symbol of the powers, privileges and authority of Parliament entrusted by it to Mr Speaker.” With this in mind, I should remind all Hon Members to show due respect when crossing the aisle during Sitting. Please, cross the aisle at the very extreme end and bow as you do so. Hon Members, again, I would like to draw your attention to Standing Order 15 (1), which provides that: “Every Member shall attend the service of the House unless leave of absence has been given him by Mr. Speaker” In order to avoid the inadvertent inclusion of Hon Members' names in the list of absentees, every Hon Member should kindly seek leave by filling in a leave of absence form whenever he or she intends to be absent from the Sittings of the House. For the avoidance of doubt, even Hon Members travelling on official assignments, either alone or in a group, must also do this. Hon Members, I cannot conclude on these matters without a note of caution to this House on pronouncements of Hon Members outside the precincts of Parliament, particularly with Hon Members' engagements with the print and electronic media in various forms. As Hon Members of Parliament, you occupy leadership positions in the country and you have a lot of respect. Society looks upon you as role models. Hon Members should not be seen to be making pronouncements that are provocative or threatening, and undermine the preservation of peace, order or national cohesion under the guise of political activism. It is my fervent hope that Hon Members would adhere to these pieces of advice, as we work towards building a fair and just society, where law and order prevails. I would want to see a Parliament of vision which would worry about galamsey, women's rights, child defilement and the National Pension Scheme. Parliament should have the capability to initiate legislation in these and other areas when we resume. Hon Members, the human mind is a perfect example of the fact that nature abhors a vacuum; whenever a vacuum is created, evil fills it, hence, the saying that the devil finds job for the idle hands. I pray all Hon Members-- and posit the question that when the Official Report is read by your children and grandchildren in the future, what would they think of you? The noise an Hon Member makes would not be recorded. The contributions you make must stand in judgement of you. Would you be proud of your own ground? I advise the young talented entrants to learn from the experienced ones. However clever they are, let us please note that in every serious institution, such as lodges, good secondary schools in this land, among others, you dare not bring
Mr Speaker, it is just the petition that has been presented to us. I thought that, formally, it should be laid on the Table.
You may do so. [Pause.] That is the anti-galamsey petition. Hon Majority Leader, unless there is something else left to ask, we would have to adjourn sine die.
Mr Speaker, the petition has been submitted; and because we are proceeding on recess, I guess it would be appropriate to have it referred to the appropriate Committee for some Business to be transacted on that.
The petition is accordingly referred to the Committee on Mines and Energy -- [Interruption] -- and Lands and Forestry, which actually have some similar matters before them for consideration and report, within two weeks after resumption, so that we all take this matter up accordingly. [Interruption.] Committees on Mines and Energy, Lands and Forestry, and they may co- opt -- Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, given the remit of the petition; water bodies are polluted, lands are degraded, the environment is destroyed, and I hear the Hon Deputy Minister for Defence saying to us that weapons are used -- [Laughter.] So, Mr Speaker, it is crosscutting, and I do not know whether in the circumstance, you may have to constitute a special Committee or not. Agricultural lands are destroyed and the health statuses of the people are degraded. It is a crosscutting petition, and I believe that indeed, it would be useful to construct a special purpose vehicle.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, thank you very much on your referral of the petition to the Committees on Mines and Energy, and Lands and Forestry. As you earlier directed, probably, because of this recess, you may want to direct that the Hon Chairpersons and Ranking Members for the Committees of Mines and Energy, Lands and Forestry, and Environment, Science and Tech- nology, led by one of your Hon Deputies could do the physical visits to many of these sites to support the work of the two Committees you have referred the matter to. Other than that, we risk enlarging the Committee to be the Committee of the Whole. Every matter of galamsey affects a life. So, Mr Speaker, your guidance can stand. It should go to the two Committees. Probably, we could only include the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology if you so wish; but if the Leadership can do something while the House is on recess, that would be useful. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes. Indeed, the joint Committee would have the power to actually co-opt and also work with Leadership in this special case as a real menace affecting all of us. Leadership, any other matter before I finally --
Mr Speaker, no other Business, except that I was of the opinion that putting these two Committees together, the number is close to 40. If the other Hon Members are to be conjoined, we are looking at a number in excess of 50. It would be too huge. That was why I said we should have a special purpose committee to deal with this. Perhaps, we could talk about the leadership of the two major Committees; Mines and Energy, and Lands and Forestry. If they are to bring four each on board, then we have Committees on Environment, Science and Technology; Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs; Water Resources, Works and Housing; and Health. So, maybe, two Hon Members each from the other Committees, so that we would have not more than about 15 Hon Members in any event.
Basically, we have Committees that deal with certain matters. They have two weeks after resumption to please tell us something. The results will determine what should be the way forward after that. So, let us simply make progress and have something that could also be a subject matter for further discussion and analysis.