VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings dated Thursday, 20th July, 2017.
[No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 20th July, 2017.]
Hon Members, item numbered 3 -- Business Statement for the ninth week. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Business Committee?
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Arrangement of Business Formal communications by the Speaker Mr Speaker, you may read commu- nications to the House whenever they are available. Question(s) Mr Speaker, the Business Committee has programmed the following Ministers to respond to Questions asked of them during the week: No. of Question(s) i. Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture -- 1 ii. Minister for Communications -- 4 iii. Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources -- 3 iv. Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection -- 1 v. Minister for the Interior -- 1 vi. Minister for Finance -- 1 vii.Minister for Employment and Labour Relations -- 1 viii. Minister for Agriculture -- 1 ix. Minister for Foreign Affairs -- 2 x. Minister for Health -- 6 Total number of Questions -- 21 Mr Speaker, ten (10) Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to twenty-one (21) Questions during the week. The Questions are of the following types: i. Urgent -- 1; ii. Oral -- 20 Statements Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 70 (2), Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. Statements duly admitted by Mr Speaker may be made in the House by Hon Members, in accordance with Order 72. Bills, Papers and Reports Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House. Motions and Resolutions Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week. Committee of the Whole to be briefed Mr Speaker, the Business Committee hereby informs Hon Members that the Minister for Finance and officials from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) would be in the House in the course of the week to brief Parliament at the Committee of the the Whole on the implementation of the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2017, (Act 948). Mr Speaker, I think there is mix-up there. Mr Speaker, you directed Leadership to engage the Minister for Finance and officials from the GRA on a specific matter. Further to that, the Finance Committee has engaged the two outfits: the Ministry of Finance and the GRA. Mr Speaker, we advised that the report that should ensue from that would inform Leadership on the way forward. And we said to them that we would adopt their report and represent same to the House. So, I would urge the Finance Committee to make their report available that is, the report from their engagement with the Minister for Finance and the officials of the GRA to us and after perusing, Mr Speaker, we would adopt the report and present same to the House. Mr Speaker, furthermore, the Minister for National Security is also expected during the week to apprise the House at the Committee of the Whole on the matter of terrorism generally and on the two (2) Guantanamo Bay detainees in the country. Hon Members would be informed in due course about the specific dates of the attendance of the Ministers in the House. In addition, the Committee has scheduled that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission attend upon the House at Committee of the Whole to brief Parliament on the total amount collected from media representatives for covering the 2016 General Elections, as well as replacement for lost/misplaced Voter's ID Cards and how these amounts have been applied. Conclusion Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House the order in
which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week under consideration. Mr Speaker, I do not intend to go through what we have done, because, Hon Members have copies of the Report, suffice it to say that the House would not be Sitting on Monday as I indicated last week. Sitting would commence on Tuesday and close on Friday in the ensuing week. Mr Speaker, I thank you. Urgent Question --
To ask the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture whether the appointment of the chairperson of the Landing Beach Committee responsible for Anyaman took cognisance of the provisions of Regulation 22 (2) (a) (i) of the National Pre-mix Fuel Committee Regulations, 2016 (L. I. 2233) and if not, what steps are being taken to ensure compliance with the Regulations. Questions -- *59. Dr Clement A. Apaak (Builsa South): To ask the Minister for Communications what steps are being taken to improve mobile telephony in remote parts of Builsa South (i.e. Kalasa, Chansa, Zamsa, and Yepala). *60. Dr Clement A. Apaak (Builsa South): To ask the Minister for Communications what steps are being taken to establish a Community Information Technology
*61. Dr Clement A. Apaak (Builsa South): To ask the Minister for Communications what steps are being taken to establish a Post Office at Fumbisi in the Builsa South Constituency. *62. Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem (Binduri): To ask the Minister for Communications what steps the Ministry is taking to address the situation where districts such as Binduri, Bawku East, Bawku West, Garu and Pusiga are wrongly captured as Burkina Faso and Togo by mobile network operators when communicating via mobile phones from such districts. Statements Presentation of Papers -- (a) Protocol Amending the Convention between the Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of The Netherlands for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital gains. (b) Request for tax exemption status for the Regional Training Centre for Law Enforcement Agencies under a memorandum of understanding between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the United States of America. (c) Report of the Finance Committee on the Annual Report on the Petroleum Funds for the Year 2016. (d) Report of the Finance Committee on the Annual Report of the Public Interest and Account- ability Committee (PIAC) on the management of petroleum revenues for the year 2015. Motions Committee sittings. Questions -- *51. Mr Mutawakilu Adam (Damongo): To ask the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources when the Damongo town water project will commence. *88. Mr Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah (Keta): To ask the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources the steps being taken to resolve the potable water challenge confronting the people of Anyako, Konu and Seva. *89.Mr Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah (Keta): To ask the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources what plans the Ministry has to extend pipe-borne water from Keta to the following communities: (i) Beach Areas of Dzelukope (ii) Tettekope (iii) Tettevikope (iv) Nukpesekope (v) Lagoon Side of Vui. *74. Mr Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah (Keta): To ask the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection when the Microfinance and Small Loan Centre (MASLOC), under the Ministry's control is going to extend support to women in the Keta Constituency to help improve their businesses. *140. Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi (Subin): To ask the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission the total amount collected from Media representatives for covering the 2016 General Elections as well as replacement for lost/misplaced Voter's ID Cards and how these amounts have been applied. Statements Presentation of Papers -- Motions Committee sittings. Questions *70. Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (North Tongu): To ask the Minister for the Interior what measures the Ministry would take to combat insecurity and mob violence in Ghana. *71. Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome (South Tongu): To ask the Minister for Finance what role is played by e-Zwich in the Interbank Payment and Settlement System in the payment of allowances to benefi- ciaries recruited under the Youth Employment Agency (YEA). *72. Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome (South Tongu): To ask the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations what constitutes the ‘business process' of the Youth Employment Agency with regard to (i) recruitment (ii) training (iii) employment (iv) deployment and (v) payment of allowances to beneficiaries recruited under the Youth Employment Agency. *73. Mr Eric Opoku (Asunafo North): To ask the Minister for Food and Agriculture what is the expenditure, participation and status of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs Programme'. *75. Mr James Agalga (Builsa North): To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration what steps are being taken to domesticate and to fully implement the Arms Trade Treaty which was ratified by Parliament on 24th July, 2015. *76. Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (North Tongu): To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration the current position of the Government of Ghana on Ghana's hosting of the two Guantanamo Bay detainees in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision. Statements Presentation of Papers -- (a) Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Regulation C/REG 22/11/ 10 Establishing Community Procedures for Management of Veterinary Drugs or Biologics. (b) Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Directive C/DIR.1/11/10 on ECOWAS Veterinary Pharmacy on Quality Control. Motions -- (a) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Annual Report on the Petroleum Funds for the Year 2016. (b) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Annual Report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) on the Management of Petroleum Revenues for the year 2015. Committee sittings. Questions -- *55. Mr Magnus Kofi Amoatey (Yilo Krobo): To ask the Minister for Health when work will start on the construction of the Yilo Krobo Municipal Hospital. *83. Mr Richard Acheampong (Bia East): To ask the Minister for Health when the Adabokrom Health Centre will be upgraded to a District Hospital. *84. Ms Laadi Ayii Ayamba (Pusiga): To ask the Minister for Health when the Pusiga Health Post will be upgraded to a District Hospital with the necessary infrastructure. *85. Dr Sebastian Ngmenenso Sandaare (Daffiama/Bussie/Issa): To ask the Minister for Health when work on the new Upper West Regional Hospital will be completed. *86. Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum (Fanteakwa South): To ask the Minister for Health when Osino Health Centre will be provided with a laboratory and upgraded to a hospital status. *87. Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum (Fanteakwa South): To ask the Minister for Health what is the state of the new Regional Hospital for the Eastern Region whose construction was expected to commence in 2013. Statements Presentation of Papers Motions (a) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Regulation C/REG 22/11/10 Establishing Community Procedures for Management of Veterinary Drugs or Biologics. (b) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Directive C/DIR.1/11/10 on ECOWAS Veterinary Pharmacy on Quality Control. Committee sittings.
Thank you very much. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful. Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee for the presentation. Mr Speaker, this week, there was an unfortunate incident. On Tuesday evening, Job 600, where our offices are located, was struck by fire and we do know that the Hon Majority Leader was on location. Some of us saw him later in the night, and saw a live report, so, we know that he was on the beat. He virtually joined the Fire Service team to bring the situation under control. We, therefore, commend him for his show of leadership. Mr Speaker, however, there is no mention of that incident. The next day which was a Wednesday, we were not allowed to use our offices because we were told that some good work was going on in those offices to make sure that we are safe. Mr Speaker, I was expecting that the Hon Majority Leader would have given us some briefing on what exactly happened, and some assurances, moving forward, how we can all be safe. Mr Speaker, perhaps, there could be some lessons to be learnt. Maybe, they might have found out what caused it, so that we could all take note and make sure that in our offices, we conduct ourselves in a way that this does not reoccur. Mr Speaker, I, therefore, thought that the Hon Majority Leader would give us some indications as to exactly what happened this week, and what has been done about it. Mr Speaker, this is the appeal I have for the Hon Majority Leader, to give us some briefing on the fire incident that occurred on Tuesday night in the course of the week. Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
Thank you very much, Hon Member. Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would want to inform the Hon Leader of the House that, on page 2, a Question had been filed by the Hon Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah asking the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, when the Microfinance and Small Loan Centre (MASLOC), under the Ministry's control, is going to extend support to women in the Keta Constituency to help improve their businesses. Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Leader of the House whether, truly, MASLOC is under the said Ministry. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I thank the Hon Majority Leader and Leader of the House for the Business Statement. Mr Speaker, however, I come under Standing Order 60(3), which says that a Minister shall not take more than three weeks to respond to questions from the House. Mr Speaker, I filed a Question to the Hon Minister for Railways Development on the first of June, but I am yet to see that Question scheduled for an Answer. I would want to know from the Hon Majority Leader, why that has not been done yet. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader has indicated that, from Tuesday, a number of Hon Ministers would come here to answer Questions that have been posed by Hon Members. Mr Speaker, I have observed that it has been the practice of this House that anytime that Hon Ministers come, they sit close to the Hon Majority Leader and we conspicuously see that the Hon Majority Leader whispers something that we suspect to be answers to the Hon Minister. Mr Speaker --
Hon Member, you are out of order [Laughter.] -- Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I am grateful. Mr Speaker, looking at the urgent nature of a complaint I filed sometime last week in respect of contempt charges against a member of the public, I have not seen the issue tabled in the Business Statement, even though it was referred to the Leadership of the House. Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Majority Leader what the status of the Working Committee is in respect of that particular complaint of contempt. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Hon Member. Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I also rise to add my voice to the sentiments expressed by the Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa. Mr Speaker, as one whose office is situated on the tenth floor within the context of the epicentre of the near disaster, I currently have no access to my office, and I would want the Hon Majority Leader to indicate how soon those of us who are close to the epicentre of the situation would have access to our offices on the tenth floor. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the inquiry from the Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa is germane. The Marshal needed to report to the Board yesterday, which he did. Following from that, we would need to programme him to come and brief us in a Joint Caucus meeting next week. Mr Speaker, unfortunately, when we finished the Parliamentary Service Board meeting late yesterday, we had already decided on the Business Statement. So, we would find space for that, possibly Tuesday, to enable the Marshal and his team to appear before us and give us a briefing on what occasioned it and the way forward. Mr Speaker, the Question about MASLOC, and whether it is within the remit of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, is a Question that had been asked, and it had been ferried to the Ministry. If it is not her responsibility, she would come and give us that response, and if it is within her competence, she would also answer the Question. Mr Speaker, it is not for me to predetermine. So, the Hon Member should let the Hon Minister come, and I believe the necessary response would be given. Mr Speaker, the Hon Govers Agbodza said to us that he filed a Question on 1st June, 2017, and three weeks have run, yet, it has not been listed. Mr Speaker, if one files a Question, it should not be taken that it has been admitted by Mr Speaker. There are certain hurdles that must be cleared first, including the admissibility of that Question. When it has been admitted and transmitted to the Ministry, that would feed into the three week period. Time does not begin to run immediately one files the Question. That is not how it is done. As it is now, I do not actually know where it is. Whether it is on the table of the Rt Hon Speaker or it is gone, I do not know. I would do the follow up. I guess I would have to do it in partnership with the Hon Member who filed the Question. I do not even know the nature and character of that Question. Mr Speaker, I believe that you aborted the question about the seating arrangement between the Hon Ministers who come to answer Questions and the Hon Majority Leader, so, I would not hazard any response. On Hon Ras Mubarak's question, the contempt issue, Leadership agreed among ourselves to find space and time to meet on it. Unfortunately, that has not been
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, any comments at this stage? Deputy Minority Leader (Mr James K. Avedzi): No, Mr Speaker, there is no comment from my side again.
Hon Members, the Business Statement as presented is accordingly adopted. Item numbered 4 -- Urgent Question to the Hon Minister for Education by the Hon Member for Akatsi North.
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Mr Speaker, I would first have to apologise for the delay in answering the Question. This is because certain duties took me away from town. Mr Speaker, on 23rd May, 2017, a suit was filed at the Winneba High Court seeking to restrain certain Principal Officers of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) from holding themselves as officers of the University. This is because a Governing Council of UEW whose term had expired appointed them. Subsequently, all decisions taken by that Council were to be nullified, including the award of certain contracts. On the 13th of June, 2017, the Court heard the matter and immediately after the Court hearing, the University of Education, Winneba, shut down all its three campuses in the country in a manner that created considerable panic among staff and students. The Court convened again on 16th of June, 2017 where the Judge reprimanded the University for closing down when it had not been so ordered by the Court. The Court also advised that until the case was determined, the university should not go contrary to the reliefs sought by the plaintiff namely; a declaration that all decisions taken by the persons who constituted themselves as Council, were null and void and of no effect and other related declarations. Following this, UEW immediately reopened for normal business (even though the university was officially on vacation). Mr Speaker, when the information on the temporary closure of the University came to the notice of the Ministry, an emergency meeting was quickly arranged with the management of the University on the 15th June, 2017 and their reasons for the closure was explained to the Ministry. Again, on Monday the 19th of June 2017, the Minister of State for Tertiary Education paid a working visit to the university to observe the situation on the ground and also meet all stakeholders to ensure a lasting peace at the university. The meeting was attended by UEW management including the Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor, Deans, Heads of Departments, key administrative staff and executive members of UTAG (UEW Branch). The Minister of State expressed displeasure about the hasty closure of the university which in itself, created unnecessary anxiety in the country and particularly, among stakeholders of the university. He appealed for calm to be restored and said all necessary arrangements were being made to reconstitute the governing council of UEW and councils of other tertiary institutions, which could help resolve the impasse. In the meantime, he advised all stakeholders to wait for the final judgement of the Court and to refrain from any action that could undermine stability in the university. Since the visit by the Minister of State, the court has sat twice where it dismissed two motions by the university; challenging the legal capacity of the plaintiff to file that suit as well as the jurisdiction of the court to handle the case. The Ministry of Education is now awaiting the final determination of the case by the court. Mr Speaker, in the meantime, all processes have been completed, and indeed a Council has been constituted for UEW. We hope that would help to restore calm before the University reopens.
Mr Speaker, I am sure the Hon Member belongs to a government headed by a President who said they were in a hurry. If so, why did it take the Ministry a long time to put the Council of the University in place?
Mr Speaker, I am sure the Hon Member observed that one of the issues before the court is that, for three years, under the Government which he served under the previous Adminis- tration, maybe, the Council was illegal.
One more question. Hon Member, we have got a number of Questions listed so Hon Members should be --
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister in his earlier Answer said that there was a court suit against the university. Reading the court document, I discovered that the Ministry was sued alongside UEW. I would want to find out from him if the Ministry of Education was represented at the court and if not, why?
Mr Speaker, in governance, if one sues the Ministry of Education, it is the Attorney-General's responsibility to represent and not the Ministry.
Other questions by Hon Members. Yes, Hon Okudzeto?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise to ask the Minister for Education whether he is --
I thought there was a wide difference between Kpodo and Okudzeto. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister if the Ministry would consider an out of court settlement? The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) issued a statement two days ago threatening that, if this matter was not resolved in two weeks, they would consider their options. All of this is not sending the right signals. I believe that the academic calendar might come under some threat if this matter is not resolved. As you know, there would be implications for all the other tertiary institutions. This is because, even the Vice Chancellors of the University of Ghana, University of Development Studies and University of Cape Coast who have all come into office -- If this court case is allowed to come to its logical conclusion, it would have an impact on all these institutions because of the delay in constituting their Councils. Mr Speaker, would the Ministry consider the option of an out of court settlement and find a way to resolve these matters, so that some normalcy could be restored on the higher education front?
Mr Speaker, the Ministry would pursue all the avenues available to it to settle this case and bring peace and quiet to the tertiary sector in the country.
Mr Speaker, my question is premised by a document I am holding. I would like to ask the Hon Minister whether he is aware that since 2013, at all material moments, UEW has had a Governing Council duly in place and could not have
Mr Speaker, the Statement made by the Hon Member cannot be answered now because that is one of the germane issues in court. I cannot answer issues that are in court. That was the subject, if you read my Answer. That is in dispute in court. I would not allow myself to be drawn to where the Hon Member is going. He should carry his can.
The last question.
Mr Speaker, it took the court to order for a Council of the UEW to be put in place within two weeks before the Government complied. If the Government could constitute a Council within that spate of time, that is two weeks, why did it take this long for a court order for the Council to be put in place?
Mr Speaker, I was going to beg for a specific question on that. It is interesting --
Hon Minister, the question is clear, answer it. After the crisis, there was action. After the court direction, he says there was immediate action. Why was this not done earlier?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member purports to know the workings of the current Government. It is not because of the court order that the President constituted the Council. I could submit within 24 hours, documents to show that it is not because of the court order. The process had been in motion for nearly two months. To say it was done in two weeks because of a court order --
Item numbered 5 — Questions. Question 57 which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Asawase, Hon Muntaka.
Mr Speaker, I have the permission of the Hon Member for Asawase, Hon Alhaji Mohammed- Mubarak Muntaka to ask the Question on his behalf.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Mr Speaker, the number of mission schools include 25,058 Basic schools, 145 Senior High Schools, 16 Technical Vocational Schools and 43 Tertiary Institutions across the country. The table below depicts the regional composition of these schools.
SPACE FOR MISSION
Mr Speaker, what informed the Ministry's decision to return all those schools to their original owners?
Mr Speaker, I am astounded by that Statement. Which Ministry said that?
Mr Speaker, with your guidance, it was reported widely in the Press that all mission schools would be reverted to their original owners. It was reported on ghanaweb.com.
It is news to me. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, could the Hon Minister assure the House that mission schools would continue to get support from Government to run their activities. If so, would that also translate to private institutions?
Mr Speaker, I would need a specific time to come with the Answer. The Question I was asked was the number of mission schools. This is veering into policy, so I would seek your permission and come back later.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has outlined the regional distribution and the categories. I would want to know if it is possible for him to indicate to us the Missions that are -- [Interruption.]
Hon Members, we shall not have exchanges.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister the Missions that have these schools. If he says Mission schools, do they include Islamic schools, Christian schools - or which Christian denomination? I would want to know if it is possible for him to provide that.
Mr Speaker, yes, it is possible to provide if the question is asked.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister said that if the question is asked for detailed information on the denominations that own these schools, it could be provided. I believe that the Hon Member has asked him to provide it. He should just give us a time frame -- [Interruption.]
Hon Members, Order! Hon Deputy Minority Leader, please, take your seat for the time being. Hon Members, I believe Hon Ministers should be capable of giving answers. The background activity should please end. Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister if the Government still supports these Mission schools and the forms of support it gives to them.
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Deputy Minority Leader of the House to give me time to come and answer the question.
Hon Members, Question numbered 58 which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Ashaiman. Ashaiman Community Day Secondary School sited at Community 22 (Completion) *58. Mr Ernest Henry Norgbey asked the Minister for Education when the construction of the Community Day Secondary School sited at Ashaiman Community 22 would be completed.
Mr Speaker, the project in question was awarded on contract to Messrs Mega Zillion on 30th May, 2014, at a contract sum of GH¢5,376,527.22 to be completed in 18 calendar months (November, 2015). The project is about 59 per cent complete and total amount paid in relation to work done so far amounts to GH¢3,222,576.27. Mr Speaker, the project is one of the 124 Community Secondary School Projects initiated by the previous Government to expand access at the Senior High School level across the country with funding from the GETFund and the World Bank. The project has delayed mainly due to sluggishness on the part of the contractor. The supervising consultant, Messrs Procurement & Project Management Consultancy Limited, has recommended termination of the contract on grounds of poor performance. The Ministry is taking steps to terminate and re-award the contract to another contractor and have the project completed by the end of the year.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister at what point in time the Ministry and the supervising consultant noticed the sluggishness on the part of the contractor as stated in the last paragraph of the Answer? Mr Speaker, I would also want to know if the contractor was warned?
Mr Speaker, my statement alludes to a process that is on-going. One does not just start with a warning. One has to call, go to the site, caution, encourage, help, support and if it is realised that the person cannot still perform, then it would get to the termination. Mr Speaker, all these happened before this current Government came into power, and we still have not terminated the contract because we would have to give time for these things to happen.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know if the Hon Minister could throw more light on the strategy. This is because per his Answer to the Question, the structure was supposed to be completed within 18 months but as we speak, it is 59 per cent complete. Mr Speaker, we have five more months to end the year, and the Hon Minister, in his Answer, said that the structure would be completed within the year. I would want to know if he can throw more light on the strategy he would adopt to make sure that the project is completed by the end of the year. Also if he could assure the House and the people of Ashaiman that the project would be completed by the end of the year.
Mr Speaker, we are in the year of our Lord 2017. This project should have been completed in the year of our Lord November, 2015, when former President John Dramani Mahama was the President. One year thereafter, the process of termination has not concluded, so, with a bit of patience and God on our side, we would see to the completion of this project.
Mr Speaker, I am on the Government Assurance Committee and we would want to get assurance from the Hon Minister whether the project would be completed by the end of the year, so that we would mark him according to his promise.
Hon Member, the Hon Minister said it would be completed by the end of the year -- further assurances in what form?
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would want to quote the second paragraph of the Answer provided by the Hon Minister. “…the project is one of the 124 Community Secondary School Projects initiated by the previous Government…” Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Minister to tell us how many of these 124 Community Secondary Schools have been completed.
Mr Speaker, as we speak now, some are being completed and so, I would want to know the time frame then I can answer.
Mr Speaker, as of today, I would want to know how many of the 124 Community Secondary Schools have been completed.
Hon Member, you are out of Order. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I would want to know when this contract would be terminated and re-awarded.
Mr Speaker, I do not want to be urged wrongly by your decision to help me terminate contracts just like that. Let us please speak to the contractor and see what we can do and we would do things appropriately.
Hon Member, have you abandoned your desire? You may ask your question.
Mr Speaker, in view of what is happening in Ashaiman, I would want to ask the Hon Minister if they are also looking at other projects, especially the one in my constituency; Lower Manya Krobo which is also not completed. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu — rose—
Hon Majority Leader, you have the floor.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is a very experienced Member of this House and he knows that he cannot use this avenue to introduce a matter that is not contained in the original Question, and that is provided for by Standing Order 69. So I would urge you to rule that question out of order — [Interruption] — I am suggesting to the Hon Member that he is introducing a matter that is not contained in the Question.
Hon Member, please justify your question.
Mr Speaker, I have abandoned my question.
Mr Speaker, in the response by the Hon Minister, he says that the project is one of the 124 Community Senior High School projects initiated by the previous government. I would humbly want to find out if the 124 includes the one at Dome Kwabenya Constituency — [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I do not know what he is talking about. I need time to go and investigate whether it includes that one. So, if you would give me time and the Hon Member asks a Question on that, I would come appropriately. Mr Avedzi — rose --
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, do you have any question?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister, in an earlier follow-up question, said that the project should have been completed by 2015 — a whole year, 2016 the project could not be completed and that it is now in the hands of God that the project would be completed. Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister, now that he is inviting God to assist him to complete the project, what date did God give him to complete the project?
Mr Speaker, I did not say God will come and complete the project. I said, “by the grace of God”. I did not say God will come and complete the project — [Interruption]
Thank you very much Hon Minister for attending to the House and answering our Questions. You are discharged. Hon Members, Question numbered 63. Hon Minister for Roads and Highways, please, take the appropriate seat. The Question stands in the name of Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa. Hon Members, Question time is long gone now; we are going to be as brief as possible, so that we can accommodate the other listed Questions.
MINISTRY OF ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
Mr Speaker, Background The Eastern Corridor road, is designated as N2 of the National Truck Road Network. It is a south to north road corridor, which starts from the Tema Motorway Roundabout and ends at Kulungugu on the country's border with Burkina Faso. It is 695 kilometres long and traverses Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Northern and Upper East Regions. The Eastern Corridor road project, has been packaged into lots. The project starts from the Asikuma Junction in the Volta Region. The following sections form part of the Eastern Corridor road projects: 1. Asikuma Junction - Have (km 0.0 -45.0) -- 45.0km 2. Have - Hohoe (km 0.0 - 20.0) -- 20.0km 3. Have - Hohoe (km 20.0 - 51.3) -- 31.3km 4. Hohoe - Jasikan (km 2.0 - 32.0) -- 30.0km 5. Dodo Pepesu - Nkwanta (km 0.0 - 46.4) -- 46.4km 6. Nkwanta - Oti Damanko (km 0.0 -50.3) -- 50.3km 7. Nkwanta - Oti Damanko(km 50.3-62.3) -- 12.0km 8. Oti Damanko - Gbintri(km 0.0- 209.0) -- 209.0km
There are eight (8) ongoing projects under the Eastern Corridor projects. The Eastern Corridor road which has both gravel and bituminous surfaced sections in poor conditions, is located across the following districts: South Dayi, Afadjato South, Hohoe, Nkwanta South and Nkwanta North, all in the Volta Region and Yendi, Nanumba North and Gushiegu Districts all in the Northern Region. Upgrading of Asikuma Junction - Have Road (km 0.0 -45.0) The project which is located in the South Dayi District was awarded on 29th September, 2011. It commenced on 5th December, 2011 for completion by 5th December, 2013. The completion date was revised to 5th March, 2017, as a result of the employer's delay in paying for the work done. Current physical progress is 52 per cent. The contractor is at the site working and has requested for additional 12 months extension of completion time. This is being reviewed by the employer. The project is financed from the Consolidated Fund. The contractor has placed asphaltic concrete binder course on the 28.0 km length of the road. Reconstruction of Have - Hohoe road (km 0.0 - 20.0) The project is located in the Afadjato South District. The 20 km road project was awarded on 23 rd March, 2016. It commenced on 12 th April, 2016 for completion by 11th October, 2017, a period of eighteen (18) calendar months. The project is being financed by Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and is currently estimated at 58 per cent physical completion. COCOBOD in a letter dated 30th May, 2017, directed the supervising consultant, Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), to inform all contractors working on COCOBOD funded road projects to suspend works with immediate effect. This is to enable COCOBOD undertake a general review and rationalisation of the projects. Therefore, the contractor has accordingly suspended works. Work done includes 14.8 km of primer seal and 4.8 km of seal. Reconstruction of Have - Hohoe road (km 20.0 - 51.3) The project is located in Afadjato South and Hohoe Municipal Assemblies. It was awarded on 4th March, 2016. It commenced on 12 th April, 2016 for completion in thirty-six (36) calendar months; that is by 11th April, 2019. The road length is 31.3km. Current physical progress is estimated at 40 per cent. The project is funded by COCOBOD. COCOBOD in a letter dated 30th May, 2017, directed the supervising consultant (GHA) to inform all contractors working on COCOBOD funded road projects to suspend works with immediate effect. This is to enable COCOBOD undertake a general review and rationalisation of the scope of the projects. The contractor has accordingly suspended works. A total length of about 15.0 km of the road has been primer sealed. Reconstruction of Hohoe - Jasikan Road ( km 2.0 - 32.0) The project is located in the Hohoe, Biakoye and Jasikan Districts. It was awarded on 21st August, 2015.The project commenced on 7th December, 2015 for completion by 6th December, 2017. There has been an extension of time of twelve (12) months, which has brought the extended contractual completion date to 5th December, 2018. This was as a result of additional works covered by a Variation Order (VO). Current physical progress is 37 per cent. The project is being funded by COCOBOD. The road on completion will have a double bituminous surface dressing. The employer (COCOBOD) has directed the supervising consultant (GHA) to inform all contractors working on COCOBOD funded road projects to suspend works with immediate effect. The contractor has accordingly suspended works. A total length of 4.9 km of the road has been primer sealed. Rehabilitation of Dodo Pepesu - Nkwanta Road (km 0.0 - 46.4) The road is 46.4 km long and is located in Nkwanta South District of the Volta Region. It was awarded on 11th June, 2012.The project commenced on 5 th September, 2012, for completion by 4th March, 2014, a period of eighteen (18) calendar months. This original completion date was extended to 4th November, 2014 and then to 4thOctober, 2015 due to excessive rainfall within the project corridor and additional works. The Project is 100 per cent complete with a double bituminous surface dressing wearing course. The road was financed from European Development Fund. Upgrading of Nkwanta - Oti Damanko Road (km 0.0 - 50.3) The road is located within the Nkwanta South and Nkwanta North Districts of the Volta Region. This road section is 50.3 km long, unpaved (graveled surfaced) and in poor condition. The project was awarded on 29 th September, 2011.The works commenced on 22nd November, 2011 for completion by 21st November 2013, a period of twenty-four (24) calendar months. The contractual completion date has been extended to 5th March, 2017, but has since expired. It is currently at 32 per cent physical completion. The project is financed from the Consolidated Fund (GoG). The project has suffered cash flow challenges due to the employer's delays in paying for work done. The contractor is on site working and has requested for an extension of completion time of thirty- six (36) months which is being reviewed by the Employer. The road on completion will have an asphaltic concrete surface. To date 11.0 km of base course has been placed. Reconstruction of Nkwanta-Oti Damanko road (km 50.3 - 62.3) The project covers a section of the Nkwanta - Oti Damanko road. It is 12.0km gravel surfaced road which is in poor condition and is located in the Nkwanta North District of the Volta Region. It starts from a community called Sibi. The project is financed from the Ghana Road Fund. On completion, the road will have an Asphaltic Concrete Surface. The contract for the Sibi - Oti Damanko section (12.0 km) was awarded on 21st June, 2016. The project commenced on 2nd
Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa, you would ask two supplementary questions only. In the interim, the Hon First Deputy Speaker would take the Chair. Hon Ablakwa, you would proceed.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful. Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways for the very detailed response to the Question. I would want to know the nature of this general review and rationalisation that is being carried out. I ask this because, as the Hon Minister has noted, a number of the Lots; Have to Hohoe road, the second part of Have to Hohoe road and Hohoe to Jasikan have all been suspended per the Hon Minister's directive on 30th May, 2017, that all contractors should hold on until they conduct general review and rationalisation. I would want to find out the nature of this general review and rationalisation and what has necessitated it and when they hope to complete the review and
Mr Speaker, it is important that we go through this exercise of review and rationalisation. My Ministry, I believe, was faced with the same problem that Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is also facing currently. If we take it from the viewpoint of my Ministry, we inherited over 2000 contracts that had been awarded at various stages. Some had not started at all. I have said a number of times that we were faced with huge debt portfolio, a commitment of around GH¢ 17.5 billion. The nation does not have that money in the kitty either from the Ministry of Finance or the Road Fund, which is put in place to carry out routine and periodic maintenance of our roads. It therefore, stands to reason that if we are confronted with such a situation, we make the best judgement of it. Perhaps, we put on hold those that have not started, so that those that are near completion or have gone far would be allowed to complete in order to sanitise and tidy up the whole road contract portfolio. Again, even to give us the opportunity to examine the mode of award of contracts. A number of them were awarded as a result of selected tendering or sole sourcing and we have to review to find out whether we have value for money. So there are so many reasons why it is necessary to go through the rationalisation and review processes. That is why these two mechanisms were adopted. To sum it up, it is necessary to have full control of the award portfolio and to make sure that we sanitise the road sector for the benefit of everybody and the country. I may add that it is ongoing and we have almost come to the end of it, at least, from my Ministry's point of view and I hope the same is happening to COCOBOD. I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon Member, the last question. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, my supplementary question is not --
I am very grateful, Mr Speaker. The second part of my first question was to find out when it is likely the contractors would return to site. That part of the question has not been answered.
Mr Speaker, that would be dictated by the successful completion of the entire exercise and again, availability of funds. I did indicate throughout my Answer that a lot of the jobs had stopped. Almost all of the contractors had even abandoned the site because of lack of payment. That is being worked on now. Obviously, that road is very important to this country. The Eastern Corridor Road runs from the South. It starts from Tema Roundabout to the North and it passes through almost five regions. It is similar to the Central Corridor Road.
Hon Member, your last one.
Mr Speaker, my last supplementary question. I would want to find out from the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways if his Ministry, and for that matter, Government, would be considering other sources of funding as the previous government did. This is because we notice that there were portions of the Eastern Corridor Road which were put under European funding and then later COCOBOD. So, there was quite a flexible and creative way of seeking funding. We appreciate that Government of Ghana (GOG) funds are quite challenged, but as he admits, these are very important projects that cannot be allowed unattended, especially as it becomes more expensive to the country if the roads are abandoned. So, I would want to find out if they are exploring other funding mechanisms apart from GoG funding.
Mr Speaker, I can only simply say that, yes, all forms of funding would be sourced. There is a very serious, proactive and dynamic government led by H.E. the President in place and we are going round looking for funding for road projects and networks. Mr Speaker, it comes from all kinds of sources. Road construction is capital intensive, so we cannot look inward alone. It is because of that we are looking at the Government of Ghana (GOG) consolidated sources through budgetary funding, and the Road Fund that has been put in place, which is earmarked to give us an average of GH¢1.2 billion a year from four different sources. We are also looking at bilateral and multilateral sources. Mr Speaker, because of the goodwill that this Government enjoys, we have started receiving some grants from other countries. So, all these sources of funding are being accessed. Anytime funding becomes available, the entire road network in the country would be worked on. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Hon Member, go on.
Hon Member, we have finished the Winneba case. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I have already indicated that road construction is capital intensive. I have also said that we are looking at so many sources of funding. Therefore, in finding money to finance road projects, one has to look around and take advantage of credible and cheaper sources of funding, which would be accommodated by this Government. Mr Speaker, to inform this Honourable House, currently, we are walking the route of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT); and Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT). So, in order of priority, we would go in for cheaper funding and we may even want to invite partners who may bring in foreign capital. Mr Speaker, apart from that, we look at our own internal sources -- the Government of Ghana and the Road Fund. That is why we are intensifying the sources that give us revenue into the Road Fund. Apart from that, if we even have to look at borrowing, we may obviously not jump into commercial borrowing. So, first, we are prioritising the sources of funding. As much as possible, we would want to go in for funding that would give us value for money, which would enable us do our job and work on all the 74,000 kilometres total network size of our roads. So, we are mindful of that and that is what the Government is pursuing. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister, in his Answer to the Question on upgrading, said that the upgrading of the Asikuma to Have road is 52 per cent complete. Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister if he is aware that over 60 per cent of the completed portion has already developed serious potholes?
Mr Speaker, I can confirm that certain portions of the road have started developing potholes; it is true. These are recently constructed roads. In about two sections, there has almost been full payment. Within the first two years, these roads and some sections have developed potholes. Mr Speaker, it is an eye-opener which tells all of us that there is something wrong with road construction in our country; either excellent or qualified contractors are not selected or there is poor supervision of the work. It could also be that the right and approved materials are not used after the procurement process. Mr Speaker, it may interest this House to know that road construction is not done anyhow. Even the very materials that are expected to be used have to be approved because the construction agencies; the Ghana Highway Authority, the Department of Feeder Roads and the Department of Urban Roads, all have laboratories. So, if a contract is awarded, the contractor is supposed to present the materials that are going to be used to the laboratory for examination and approval. Mr Speaker, but when they go on site, we would need the resident engineer to be very vigilant to ensure that the work goes on according to specification. Mr Speaker, one clear example is the road between Dodo Pepesu and Nkwanta -- and I believe that since the Hon Member comes from the Volta Region, and the Eastern Corridor passes through his constituency, he is familiar with it. The Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta road was the road constructed by Messrs Kanazoe which had a Presidential praise, that it was a good job done. There are a lot of potholes on that stretch and which we have now awarded on contract to be patched. Mr Speaker, at this point, I would want to make a statement now, since he had raised a question, it looks as if we are in a country where people render shoddy work to the people of this country and we use our taxpayers' money and our hard earned money to pay for contract work but we do not get value for money. Mr Speaker, I could assure you that under the watch of the current government, going forward, any shoddy work done by any contractor, that contractor would be blacklisted -- if investigated and proven that truly a shoddy work was done. Equally, any resident and supervising engineer who would certify that the work has been properly done and according to specification and raises a certificate and based on which payments would be effected, that resident engineer; whether in my Ministry or a private consultant under whose watch that shoddy work was carried out, would suffer the consequence thereof.
Mr Speaker, thank you. I am grateful to the Hon Minister for taking considerable time to give us a detailed answer for this project. Mr Speaker, he told us some of the reasons for which almost all the projects have been suspended, pending review and the result would either be termination or repackaging. Mr Speaker, I have two questions; first of all, is the Hon Minister --
Hon Member, you are entitled to one question.
Mr Speaker, then I would ask this question -- we have heard many times that the Ministry is doing this review because there is a possibility that some of the contracts that the Ministry's agencies have awarded have been inflated. Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister that, so far and with six months of review, has he identified any of these projects which he would say that either the engineers from the Department of Feeder Roads or the Department of Urban Roads have inflated? Could the Hon Minister tell this House whether the review had so far identified any inflated contracts? Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
Hon Member, you could file that question. This is not related to this question. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, thank you very much. Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer on page 7 under the upgrading of Asikuma Junction -- Have Road, he stated that “The project which is located in the South Dayi District was awarded on 29th September, 2011.” Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister whether he is aware that a portion of this road from Asikuma Junction through Opekuase to Peki Dzake is within the Asuogyaman District and not in the South Dayi District?
Hon Minister, are you aware that part of this road falls within the Asuogyaman District?
Mr Speaker, we were not advised about this fact but that notwithstanding, I would take note and verify.
Hon Ras Mubarak?
Mr Speaker, I am very grateful. Mr Speaker, following from the Hon Minister's responses, would he assure the House that should we find any shoddy work under his watch, we would personally hold him accountable for that?
Hon Member, you could file that question. It is not related to the Question in issue. It is also speculative -- “should we find” -- if you find a shoddy work, you would know what to do. Hon Member for Bantama?
Mr Speaker, thank you. Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's responses, he mentioned that he inherited about two thousand contracts at an estimated cost of about GH¢17 billion but the government has no money to take care of all of these, hence the review. Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister, how are new communities and the communities that have been deprived of any form of road network for years being taken care of under his watch?
Hon Member, file a Question on your community that is deprived and he would answer you. Hon Members, we would move to the next Question standing in the name of Hon Richard Acheampong, Hon Member for Bia East Constituency. Construction of Akwarbengkrom to Kwadwo Armakrom *64. Mr Richard Acheampong asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Akwarbengkrom to Kwadwo Armakrom road would be awarded for construction.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much. Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, in paragraph 3, he said, and with your permission, I would like to quote: “…This is the first phase of the construction works between Adabokrom and Kwadwo Armakrom. The work is on-going. The project is currently estimated at 34 per cent physical completion. Work done includes 7km gravel base course and 4km primer seal from the Adabokrom end.” I just would want to find out from the Hon Minister whether he is aware that section of the road has been suspended.
Mr Speaker, so far as my information goes, no part of that road has been suspended. It is not from my end, and we get regular information on it. So, I would check and see what is happening on the road. However, I am not aware as of now.
Mr Speaker, again, I need your guidance: Since the Hon Minister is not aware and the contractor is not on site-- This is because that section has been suspended, but he has stated in his Answer that work is on- going. Does it mean that I cannot rely on this very Answer given by the Hon Minister? But I would move on to my other question. Mr Speaker, in respect of the Answer given there, in the light of the future programme given by the Ministry, the Hon Minister has indicated that when funds are available, they would do the next phase of the road. Mr Speaker, we are in the rainy season, and movement on that very stretch of the road is humanly and vehicularly impossible to use. Then, Bia East is the gateway to the Western North in the Western Region. So, as I stand here, all those plying that route have to use either the Wiawso end or the Brong Ahafo end. Is the Hon Minister giving us any assurance within a week or two that at least, something would be done for people plying that route for them to have access to the road?
I would want to be clear. What do you want within a week or two? Is it the assurance to be given within a week or two or what do you want to be given within a week or two?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has indicated in the Answer that there would be routine maintenance until the contract is awarded. So, as we wait for the contract to be awarded, I am asking for the steps that he is putting in place at least within a week or two, since we are in the rainy season.
Do you want an assurance that he would do something within at least the next week?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I appreciate the concern of my Hon Colleague. It is the objective of the current Government not to create any hardship for our people, wherever they find themselves. The road project has not been terminated. That is why I have indicated that work is on-going. Mr Speaker, as he rightly indicated, we are in the rainy season, and technically, whenever one finds himself in the rainy season, it is not wise to grade the road. This is because, he would worsen the problem. So, I would have consultation with my technical people and see what could be done within the next few days and weeks on the road to make it motorable so that we leave our people from going through unnecessary discomfort and hardship.
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much. I would also thank the Hon Minister, at least, for the concern that he has demonstrated. I look forward for a positive response from the Hon Minister. Mr Speaker, my last question is this, he made mention of lack of funds, but I know by the end of this month, there would be a budget review, and by November, the Budget for the 2018 fiscal year would come before us. Would he prioritise this very section of the road? This is because that is the only road that links Brong Ahafo to La Cote d'Ivoire through Osei Kwadwokrom so that the transportation of cocoa, timber and foodstuff could reach the major cities for you and I to get food to eat.
Yes, Hon Minister, would you prioritise that road?
Mr Speaker, from my Ministry's point of view and from the viewpoint of Government, every road in this country is prioritised, but we shall try and do as much as our resources could take us. So, I would want to assure the Hon Member that very critical road sections that require emergent and immediate attention, just as his, would be looked at. I could give him that assurance.
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the 38 kilometres stretch from Adabokrom to Adiembra road is very critical, and the explanation given by the Hon Minister sounds a little convincing. But that road is in such bad shape that as children travelling on that road, we were taught in school that there are seven wonders of the world, and the eighth wonder of the world would be the construction of the road. It would change history to become the eighth wonder of the world if the road from Adiembra to Adabokrom is constructed. So, the point we made in that area --
Hon Member, this is Question time and not Statements time. Kindly ask your question.
Mr Speaker, the question is; he has given various scenarios, we need an assurance when the road would be completed, from Adiembra to Adabokrom, to ease access for cocoa and other produce in the area and for all of us to have peace of mind and change of history.
Mr Speaker, assurance is hereby given based on availability of funds.
Very well. The next Question is in the name of Hon John Majisi, Member of Parliament for Krachi Nchumuru. Construction of the Buafin Lakeside - Nandikrom Road Q*65. Mr John Majisi asked the Minister for Roads and Highways the Ministry's plans for the immediate construction of the Buafin Lakeside to Nandikrom road which was becoming virtually unmotorable.
Mr Speaker, Background Buafri Lakeside-Nandikrom is a 12.6km feeder road in the Krachi-Nchumuru District of the Volta Region. It is a gravel surfaced road in poor condition. Current programme The road is programmed for grading, clearing of vegetation and ditch cleaning as part of the year 2017 routine maintenance programme. Future programme Engineering design studies have been conducted on the road for upgrading to bitumen surfacing and would be considered under future DFR periodic maintenance programme when funds are available.
Even for grading? I am asking you myself. The funds available for grading or for bituminous upgrade?
Mr Speaker, up to the bituminous level.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Minister for Roads and Highways how soon the routine maintenance is going to be done.
Mr Speaker, routine and periodic maintenance of our roads are permanent features. Whenever a road is constructed, the Ministry keeps an eye on it, and it is supposed to keep that eye so that we keep it in good shape at all times. It is not only the physical stretch of the road, but the entire road corridor and reservation. That was why I spoke in my Answer about vegetation patching. I indicated in my Answer ditch cleaning and grading, so it is a whole gamut of road maintenance portfolio, and we will keep maintaining the road until the opportunity avails itself to develop it and to improve the surface condition from where it is now; gravel stage to bituminous stage.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister, in view of the fact that the road has become very deplorable and some of the bridges have become death traps, would he consider an emergency work done on that particular road?
Mr Speaker, exactly so, that would be done.
The next Question is in the name of Hon Kennedy Nyarko Osei, Member of Parliament for Akim Swedru. Commencement of Works on Akim Oda - Akim Swedru Road Q*66. Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Ministry will commence works on the Akim Oda - Akim Swedru road.
Mr Speaker, Background The Akim Oda - Akim Swedru road (4.0km) forms part of the proposed Reconstruction of Akim Oda - Amanfopong road project (23.5km). The road project was packaged for procurement under the COCOBOD -- funded projects. The road traverses the Birim Central and Birim South Districts of the Eastern Region. The road is bituminous surfaced but in poor condition. The funding of the Project is yet to be approved by COCOBOD. Current programme Routine maintenance works, such as, pothole patching will be carried out on the Akim Oda - Akim Swedru road to keep the surface motorable. Future programme The Ministry will, however, look for an alternative source of funding such as Road Fund or the Consolidated Fund, if the approval is not granted.
Mr Speaker, from the Hon Minister's Answer, he said funding of the Project is yet to be approved by COCOBOD. I would like to find out from the Hon Minister, when?
Mr Speaker, I would rephrase it. I would like to find out from the Hon Minister if that particular stretch of road from Oda to Swedru is under COCOBOD's cocoa roads project?
Hon Minister, is that road for you or for COCOBOD?
Mr Speaker, my Ministry has the responsibility of all roads in the country. If I should give the antecedent to these so-called cocoa roads, which have become a problem in our country, the project was started in the early 1920s during the regime of the first administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) under President Kufuor, 2001 -2008, and it was continued by the National Democratic Congress Government because it was a good project. The basis was that, COCOBOD, with the responsibility of purchasing cocoa in our country as their core business, was to pay for some selected cocoa roads for two main reasons; one, to express their gratitude to cocoa farmers as their social responsibility towards them; and secondly, and perhaps more importantly, to assist the Government in putting cocoa roads in good shape to facilitate the transportation of cocoa from the hinterlands, where the cocoa is produced, to the port. So, it had a dual intention and purpose. It was done perfectly to that objective and thinking, and I have said it in this House before. Mr Speaker, all that COCOBOD has to do within the authority and jurisdiction that they have over cocoa production is to identify the cocoa roads and allocate moneys to those identified roads, so that when eventually constructed, they are paid for, to supplement the work of Government. Mr Speaker, this is because there is no doubt that if we talk about road construction, then the Ministry and its agencies that are responsible and that have all the expertise and the competencies are at the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the agencies of the Ghana Highways, Feeder Roads and Urban Roads Departments. Mr Speaker, I used a word here the last time I appeared on the floor of this Honourable House, that regrettably, somewhere along the line, this exercise and this cocoa project was completely “hijacked,” -- and I used the word “hijacked,” -- from my Ministry to COCOBOD. COCOBOD, therefore, handled it on their own, even though they do not have the expertise in road construction. Mr Speaker, that has led to all these problems, and COCOBOD is dealing with it, and has even written, as I indicated in my Answer, to stop all the ongoing COCOBOD projects for them to rationalise, to review and to manage the Cocoa Roads Project. Mr Speaker, I would want to state clearly and unambiguously that we do not share the right of supervising and controlling the road network of this country with COCOBOD. COCOBOD can only provide funds to supplement our work, but the entire authority, supervision, and mandate of all the 74,000km total road network size of this country is within the confines and the authority of my Ministry. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, from the Minister's Answer, he said that the current programme that they are going to do on the road is pothole patching. I would, however, want the Hon Minister to know that the road is beyond pothole patching because it is about 95 per cent deteriorated. Mr Speaker, one can only find five per cent of the road tarred. So, I would just want the Hon Minister to know that the pothole patching may not be an immediate solution to it. I, however, also share his concern that, subject to the availability of funds, they would make funds available to reconstruct the road. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister should also note that that stretch of road is where we have our premium or our number one military training camp - the Jungle Warfare School (JWS), where most of the foreign security agencies come for training. So, such a road should be given priority. Mr Speaker, this one is just a commentary to my Question and that --
Hon Member, you have no more questions. Thank you. Hon Members, the last Question is by the Hon Kwame Govers Agbodza, the Hon Member of Parliament for Adaklu. Government policy to review or terminate existing road contracts Q*102. Mr Kwame Govers Agbodza asked the Minister for Roads and Highways if there was a government policy to review or terminate some existing road “ related contracts.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Roads and Highways is undertaking a comprehensive review of all projects in its portfolio. The Ministry and its Road Agencies are also discussing any challenges that affect contractors' output. Some of these challenges include; i. Inadequate contractor capacity; ii. Inadequate supply and scarcity of construction materials at project sites; iii. Delays in payment for work done; iv. Difficulty of contractors in accessing credit facilities. The overall objective of this review is to achieve value-for-money on the projects and ensure that contract payments are adequately covered by the Road and Consolidated Funds. The categories of projects that are being reviewed are:- i. Projects that have been awarded but are yet to commence will be reviewed and rationalised for termination or re-scoping. ii. Projects that have low percentage progress in relation to the time elapsed will also be reviewed and rationalised for termination or re-scoping.
iii. Projects that have long exceeded their completion dates without tangible reasons for extension will be terminated, repackaged and new contracts procured on competitive basis. iv. Review and minimize the variation of ongoing projects that increase the project cost and scope of works.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to ask supplementary questions. Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, he said that the overall objective of this review is to attain value-for-money on the projects and ensure that contract payments are adequately covered by the Road Fund and the Consolidated Fund. Mr Speaker, he went further to state from (i) to (iv), some of the conditions under which they are doing the review. Mr Speaker, these four points are always clauses in every legitimate road contract. Therefore, my question to the Hon Minister is this: are these points already clauses that the Hon Minister could invoke? Mr Speaker, for instance, if the Hon Minister awarded the project and after a period of time the contractor fails to go to site, then the Hon Minister, through his agencies, can terminate the contract. That is, if one has been awarded a project and one failed to perform, then the Hon Minister, through his agencies, can terminate. Mr Speaker, if these are the reasons for which they are doing the review, then would the Hon Minister not agree with me that it would have been easier to look at the project on individual basis, such that if project A has not started since the time of award, and have elapsed a certain period, then he can go ahead and terminate the contract?
Hon Majority Leader, they allowed me to speak before you came in, so let us -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the question is this: if these are the reasons, then can the Hon Minister agree with me that he has already got enough -- [Interruption.]
Hon Govers, are you asking a question?
Yes, Mr Speaker, but the Hon Majority Leader is intimidating me.
How is he intimidating you?
Mr Speaker, he is intimidating me and I would want you to rescue me.
I see you arguing, rather than asking a question. So, if you have any challenges, then you should address me.
Mr Speaker, I am asking you to rescue me because the Hon Majority Leader is intimidating me. I am on my feet and he is also on his feet.
Hon Member, our Standing Orders permits Hon Members to rise on their feet, if the issues are relating to order.
Mr Speaker, that is all right. Thank you for rescuing me. Mr Speaker, if these are the reasons he is carrying out a blanket review, can the Minister agree with me that this exercise would end up rather increasing the cost of project and would not inure to the reasons he stopped the project? That is my first question.
Hon Minister, would this make you achieve value for money or not?
Mr Speaker, I could not agree more with him that every road contract is regulated by a mutually, executed contract and contracts are supposed to carry terms and conditions. A contract can only be terminated if any of such terms and conditions are breached because there would be a termination clause. Even if they are breached, because of the principle of audi alteram partem, one must listen to the other side. The review is to give the opportunity to the contractors because road contracts are between parties -- the contractor and the Government as an employer. You cannot unilaterally terminate any contract. The review is just an opportunity to give the other side a hearing which is a basic principle that must be adhered to for the sake of natural justice.
Mr Speaker, I also could not agree more with the Hon Minister but the question I ask is this: If these tools are available to the Hon Minister, would he not agree with me that instead of passing a general rule that all these projects should be suspended until the review is completed, it would have been easier to do it contract by contract basis so that the value he is trying to achieve -- and I agree with him -- can better be served instead of terminating? I am aware of contracts that have no problem with all the things that he talked about. The contractor is on site, fully mobilised and resourced yet, the contractor has stopped work because he has been asked to stop work and the state of the work currently is surely going to deteriorate which means Government would have to pay more money. Can the Hon Minister consider allowing those contractors that are fully mobilised to go on with their work while the review is carried on?
Mr Speaker, my Ministry has never terminated any contract and throughout my answer, I never stated anywhere that my Ministry and for that matter, any of these three Agencies has terminated or suspended any work. Mr Speaker, perhaps, my Hon Colleague refers to the letter that came from COCOBOD. My Ministry is clearly distinct from that of COCOBOD and we do not bear their liability vicariously.
Hon Member, the Hon Minister said that his Ministry has not suspended any project.
Mr Speaker, this House has got a Government Assurances Committee in place. Would it be right for me to say that if I can produce evidence that any of the Agencies under the Ministry has suspended some work, the Hon Minister would probably have to come back and maybe, rephrase his Answer?
If you put that before the House, the Hon Minister would be called to respond.
You have exhausted your three questions.
Mr Speaker, I would want to get your direction. You said that if I can produce that information, the Hon Minister can come back and talk to the House. This is because I can do that and you can give me up to Tuesday to produce evidence that the Department of Feeder Roads has asked contractors to suspend work and the Hon Minister said he has not done that. This was what I said: if I can produce evidence that the Department of Feeder Roads asked contractors to suspend work, would the Hon Minister come back and explain to us why he did that?
Is that a question to the Chair or who? I said that would happen if you put that evidence before the House -- the said evidence is not before the House. So, bring the evidence before the House and then we would proceed. Are there any more questions from other Hon Members?
Mr Speaker, can you direct on how to produce that? Can I table it with the Clerk? [Interruption.] Hold on. We are in the House. There is order here.
If you have any such thing, you know the procedure. Do it. If you have it here, table it.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Question time. Hon Minister, thank you for attending upon the House to Answer our Questions. The Rt Hon Speaker admitted one Statement standing in the name of Hon Samuel Atta-Mills -- Statement on the Current state of Asomdwee Park.
Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for this opportunity to make a Statement on the current state of the Asomdwee Park formerly known as the Geese Park, and the urgent need to complete or rehabilitate the park to an appreciable and befitting status as a Presidential mausoleum. Mr Speaker, the Asomdwee Park, which is located between the Christiansburg Castle and the Black Star Square around the castle drive area is the first Presidential mausoleum with President John Evans Atta-Mills, of blessed memory, being the first president to be buried there. There are, however, additional eight (8) graves for the burial of our Presidents if they so desire. It is important to note that the interment of the late Prof. Mills at the Asomdwee Park was beautifully carried out in a befitting manner, despite the fact that the place was not fully completed. It was envisaged that, after his burial, work on the Park would be completed fully to bring it to the intended status. This has, however, not been done to date as planned. As regards the general outlook of the Park, apart from the eight (8) additional graves already mentioned, it is supposed to be turned into a major tourist site in the capital where people from all walks of life within and outside Ghana can visit to pay homage to our deceased Presidents. The Park is expected to have a replica office of the late President Atta Mills, memorabilia and a gift shop. It is also to be landscaped with well- manicured lawns, shady trees as well as variety of birds and garden chairs. This would invariably serve as a place for relaxation and solemn reflection for citizens. It is also envisioned that the remains of our past Presidents so interred would be well preserved for them to remain in their original state as pertains in Russia where up to today, the remains of their great Lenin remains the same as the time he was buried and thus serve a major tourist attraction. Mr Speaker, I have been compelled to raise this issue of the present state of Asomdwee Park, which has been closed to the general public since January, this year, to allow for repair works. It is almost five years since his demise and if care is not taken, the Mausoleum will become even worse than it is now. It is obvious from my visits to the place, including last week, that work has stalled and there is no indication that these repairs will commence any time soon because it has been the nature of Ghanaians to abandon such projects. Mr Speaker, I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to enquire on what is being done about the Asomdwee Park five years after the interment of the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills. We should not sit by while the burial place of our national heroes deteriorates. The remains of our first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, went through a similar fate until it was rescued and re-buried in Accra. Even in his case, a visit to the place currently shows that, it is not receiving the required attention and maintenance. Mr Speaker, the anniversary of the late President John Evans Atta Mills is right around the corner and the entire family and some Ghanaians may go and pay their respects. A recent visit to the Park has the following revelation: The well-crafted metallic cover of the tomb has developed grim cracks detaching itself from the rest of the artifact.
Yes, Hon Atta Akyea?
Mr Speaker, I associate myself to a reasonable extent, with the Statement ably made by my Hon Colleague, who happens to be the brother of our departed President. For some of us with some traditional background, we believe that the remains of any individual belong to the family. And no matter how you say, although at all material times, the Presidents became public property, so to speak, it is by election that the family yielded that they should bring the great man to where the remains are currently. Mr Speaker, but I am of the humble view that in all the other nations, just let me use the United States of America, when one becomes the President and passes on to eternity, one is rested in one's hometown where one comes from. The good news is that, when it is so done, it becomes like a tourist attraction that individuals from all over the world could go over to where the President's remains are in his/her hometown. And that would generate a bit of revenue for the people in the area. So, the whole point of the matter is this: are we going to have a national policy that when one passes on as a former Head of State, there should be a common ground where one would be interred as it were? If that is so, then I agree with him that if we come to that consensus and understanding, obviously, with the permission of the extended family, wherever we have a National Presidential Cemetery, the decency should be there. That would be the most decent cemetery in the realm. This is because after all, those who are there, are the first gentlemen of the land and they should be given the decency as it is. Mr Speaker, but what I shudder to say is, half the time, when we have deaths as in previous arrangements, the political projection is that the funeral of a man should have such a political capital for the party that he belonged to. And these are some of the problems that would arise as a result. So, after the political euphoria, you would realise that those who took the benefit of the politics would not pay respect to the dead. This is because they would have achieved their political advantage. This is a development we should shun, that when we have individuals dying— I have evidence to that effect -- We would make sure that we do what is proper. When we do what is proper, time would prove that we did not joke with any situation but the proper thing was done. Mr Speaker, but I stand here to say that these matters, as we have ably hammered on, would get to the Presidency and we would make sure that we give him the respect that is due. My memories of this man, no matter how you calculate it politically, are still very strong. I remember him strongly. He was a very able professor of Company Law and I remember him talking without notes. By whatever it is that you want to measure him politically, I think it is over, and the last respect should be paid him. Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to make this short intervention. I am grateful to you.
I am grateful, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Statement is very crucial especially, when on Monday, 24th of July, we would be marking the fifth anniversary of the passing of His Excellency, Professor John Evans Atta Mills. There is a saying, and I think it is in Luke 4:24, that a prophet is not honoured in his own country. But, Mr Speaker, in this case, we had a man who was humble in public service, who was incorruptible, and who served this nation very well. And we cannot allow his resting place to degenerate into what it has become today. Undoubtedly, Asomdwee Park is a historical site and the indifference of authorities who are in charge of maintaining the park is what we should be condemning. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, it is not only in respect of the Asomdwee Park. Today, what is the state of the Osu Castle? Today, what is the state of the many public sites that the State has invested a lot of money in? If you look at the cost of maintaining these sites after they have deteriorated beyond repair, it is so huge and will be costing a lot more maintaining them than if we had taken the necessary action to ensure that they are in good shape or form. Therefore, as the Hon Atta Mills indicated, we should be doing well. Posterity will definitely judge all of us and then we would be judged based on how we treat the dead.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to associate myself with the solemn presentation of a well written Statement by the brother of our former President who is also an Hon Colleague. Mr Speaker, the moment is so solemn that it is my hope that this would not be viewed with partisan lenses. This is especially because we are discussing a man whose birthday would have been today. We all know that he was one who preached peace and togetherness and actually practised same. He did not just preach it but his many deeds continue to testify how he sought to unify this country across the political divide and other artificial divisions that probably exist. Mr Speaker, beyond the restoration of the Asomdwee Park, there are issues and questions that have so eloquently been raised by the Hon Member. It has to do with the welfare of our former Presidents and how such welfare is catered for in this country. Even in their lifetime, the question is, how are they catered for? Is their welfare taken care of at the whims and caprices of an existing Government? Is it not appropriate for us as a country to begin to look at the establishment of an institution that would be responsible for the welfare of former Presidents? This is especially so because we do not foresee this democratic experiment that we have started to be short-lived. If it is not short-lived, then the obvious expectation would be that we would produce more ex-Presidents. Mr Speaker, by our arrangements, ex- Presidents are supposed to be taken care of throughout their lifetime. Is it not time we began to look at the establishment of an institution that would be responsible for their remuneration, maintenance of their vehicles and homes and even the upkeep of their families? This is because by our arrangement, the State is supposed to take care of them until their demise. After their demise, is it not in the interest of our nation, for example, we have the State Protocol Department which is responsible for running the office of the President and maybe, the welfare of people who work in the Office of the President? Could we not have a similar arrangement, given the fact that we would produce more ex-Presidents that would cater for some of these welfare needs? Ex-Presidents are entitled to welfare needs and some trips abroad each year. Which institution does that? Should it be left at the behest of the existing Government and when they are not pleased with a certain ex-President, they could vary the conditions of service that might be extended to him? Mr Speaker, since this is a solemn period and I would like us to reflect on this and take advantage of the Statement that has been made and make arrangements that would be long-lasting and guarantee the dignity of our ex- Presidents. Beyond the restoration and establishment of this institution that I have called for, I am also looking at what is often said and has become a cliché, that the people who do not know where they come from, would not know where they are going to. This is because there is a historical benefit. If we put a place together like the Asomdwee Park, where all our former Presidents would be buried and kept as a tourists' site, even if their extended families do not agree for the remains to be kept there, an arrangement could be put in place where a tomb could be raised and kept as a tourists' attraction for tourists who would want to go there to either relax or learn more about our Presidents and what they lived for. Mr Speaker, for example, it would not be attractive for a person to travel from say Nigeria or Togo in about 10 years with the hope of learning about Ghana's ex- Presidents only for the person to have to travel to Cape Coast to learn about one of them, travel to the Brong Ahafo Region to learn about another and go to Wa to learn about the other. Maybe, in future, one would also have to go to Tamale to learn about another when we could simply put all of that in one place such as the Asomdwee Park and maintain it properly. You would get there and there would be a museum. You could learn about what the Presidents did during their regimes. That would also become an income earner for this country. Mr Speaker, on this note, I hope that we would take the challenge seriously. The challenges that have been thrown here have to do with the restoration of the Asomdwee Park and the need to consider the establishment of an institution that would be responsible for the welfare of former Presidents and the hope that we would agree to set up a memorial ground. If we are agreed, I suggest that it must be the Asomdwee Park where all former Presidents would have their final rest after serving this dear nation.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on the birthday of the late Professor. Today, 21st July should have been a day he would celebrate his birthday
if he had been alive. In three days time, that is the 24th of July, it would be exactly five years since the former President passed on. Mr Speaker, on that day, 24th July, 2012, at about 2.00 o'clock, the whole country was thrown into a state of mourning when the news broke of the passing on of our late President. May his soul rest in perfect peace. The Statement is very important and the contributions that have been made on the Floor have it that -- I think that there is the need for us to open a debate on how we should handle our former Presidents. We have lost former Presidents. We have also lost former Vice Presidents. However, in the case of Prof. Mills, he was a sitting President when we lost him. If we do not have a national policy on how we should handle our former Presidents or heroes, maybe, what we are talking about today would continue. Tomorrow, another Statement would be made, maybe in respect of another person. So, I think that there is the need for us to have a debate on how we should handle our former Presidents in terms of where we bury them, how we maintain those venues and how we could even arrange to ensure that we could get some economic benefits from them. For instance, the Asomdwee Park that we are talking about, if it is properly maintained and serves as a tourists' site -- even for domestic tourism, we could have some revenue generated from Ghanaians who go there to visit or go and read about former Presidents who have been buried there. At the same time, foreigners could also go there and pay a higher fee to learn about not just the history of the people who would be buried there, but also the history of this country. I support the issue about opening a debate and to coming up with a national policy on how we could take advantage of these situations to honour our former Presidents and heroes and at the same time get some economic benefits to help with the development of our country. Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, the Statement that was made is a dual prompt one -- one which relates to the birthday of the former President and also the unfortunate transition that he suffered four days after celebrating his birthday. That certainly was not a good mix. Mr Speaker, I am happy to observe here that Hon Colleagues have said to us that on occasions such as this, we should not reduce such events to partisanship. That is how it should be, and I believe that as a nation, we should all learn useful lessons, because no Head of State would live forever. A day certainly would come when the person would have to depart from this world and shall have to be buried. Mr Speaker, I agree with my Hon Colleagues who said that we need to define a national policy for ourselves about what to do with our Heads of State and Governments. The reason is that, if there is no such policy in place, one family would insist that their family member be buried in their village or community and another family
Very well. Hon Members, that is the end of Statements. We would move on to Public Business. At the Commencement of Public Business — Presentation of Papers, item numbered 7.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, thank you for giving me the opportunity. Mr Speaker, it is worthy to note that the Bill was referred to your Committee on 17th July, 2017, to determine whether it is of urgent nature. Mr Speaker, per the Standing Orders, we should have met, taken a decision and presented a report within 24 hours, but due to the unfortunate incident that happened at the Job 600 Office Complex, we were compelled under the circum- stances to leave our offices and we were therefore disabled from coming to an early determination in respect of the urgency or otherwise of the Bill. Mr Speaker, be that as it may, I would like to take advantage of Standing Order 75 (2) and make a short explanatory statement in respect of what the Committee has come up with. Mr Speaker, the issue which was referred to us was very simple. It was to decide on whether or not the Bill in respect of the Office of the Special Prosecutor has to be treated under a certificate of urgency. Mr Speaker, going through the Memorandum and the body of the Bill itself, we realised that the Bill carries a lot of weighty issues that needed to be discussed by means of a broader stakeholder consultation. This cannot be done within a short period of time. It was, therefore, the considered opinion of the Committee that, in view of the reason mentioned above, this Bill is not one that has to be treated under a certificate of urgency. It, therefore, has to be taken through the normal legislative processes. Mr Speaker, in a nutshell, this is the determination your Committee came up with, having gone through the Memorandum and the body of the Bill itself.
Would the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee want to say anything to that?
Mr Speaker, as rightly said by the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, your Committee met yesterday, and after careful consideration and some relevant information was brought to our attention in terms of the need to establish an institution that would endure the test of time, guarantee and secure the integrity, reputation and neutrality of such an important office, it was important to build stakeholder consensus, and by doing so, we needed to go through stakeholder consultations. Mr Speaker, moreover, we realised that the Office of the Attorney-General, which is presently constituted does not leave a gap. We know that we are trying to treat offenses of corruption by public officers and politically exposed persons in a special way to engender confidence in the Ghanaian public. But insofar as the Office of the Attorney-General exists, there appears not to be a gap. So, there appears not to be an agency to fill in the space that would create or perform that responsibility.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, do you want to make a comment on this one?
Mr Speaker, I believe that the issue explained by the Hon Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee makes it clear that their report says that the Bill cannot be taken under a certificate of urgency. So, I do not have any issue against that.
Mr Speaker, our own Standing Orders; Standing Order 119, fortified by article 106 (13), provides for the Committee that the referral is made in such circumstances to make the determination. The committee has determined that regardless of the fact that the issues contained in the Bill are weighty, they also take into consideration the fact that this is a novelty, and because of that they need to have broader stakeholder engagements. Mr Speaker, I believe that it can only be good for our democratic governance. We think that we should grant them the space to do that consultation. Mr Speaker, my little worry is that, in that regard, if we should come to a final consideration, because this may be required to be fed into the ensuing Budget Statement, and given the fact that the next meeting would consider the Budget Statement, there would be very limited space for the Consideration before it is factored into the Budget Statement, which then may mean that, instead of resuming in the last week in October or sometimes the first week of November, we may have to bring our recommencement date forward just so that we would be able to attend to these matters before the presentation of the Budget Statement. Mr Speaker, I am informed that the referral to the Finance Committee and the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development in respect of the Zongo Fund, they have also made that preliminary determination that they need more time, which could be good for the House. I am excited by the fact that it tells us that the House is striving to stand on its own. That should be how the affairs of this House should be run. If the Executive shows indication that they would want to have this done early enough, but we think that we should tarry awhile and do a better job, I believe that should be the way forward for us. That should be the new dispensation that should avail itself to this House. Mr Speaker, I cannot agree more with the Committee. If they say they want more time, the House should grant them that space in order for them to do a better job. So, when they bring their report -- and I would want to believe that maybe, into the recess period, they would be able to do so and bring their report -- when we next meet after the adjournment, we will make sure that we do a very good job for us as a country.
Very well. So be it. Let the two Bills go through the normal processes of enactment. We are still on Public Business. Are we able to take items numbered 8 and 9 yet?
Mr Speaker, my information is that, the Committee is still pursuing the issues referred to them and they are not in the position to move these Motions. In which case, it would indicate to us that we have exhausted the items on the Order Paper for today. Mr Speaker, I may then want to move, that this House adjourns until Tuesday, 25th July, 2017 at 12.00 noon
Mr Speaker, before I second the Motion, I would want to raise an issue on the contributions from Hon Members to the Statement that was made by the Hon Samuel Atta-Mills. Mr Speaker, I thought that you could, probably direct for the matter to be referred to either Leadership or some Committee of a sort, to come out with an idea on the issue that has been raised in the Statement and then the contributions. So that we would begin to debate this issue about what we should do to honour our former President.
Very well. Hon Deputy Minority Leader, unfortunately, you have come at the tail end, after the Motion for adjournment has been moved. But I would suggest that it is still rightly before Leadership, Leadership may discuss that and propose something for the House to discuss.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I bear witness that the Hon Deputy Minority Leader was not sleeping on duty at all. [Laughter.]
Hon Majority Leader, the Motion has been moved and seconded. [Laughter.] Question put and Motion agreed to.