VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 25th July, 2017. Page 1 … 7 -
Mr Speaker, on page 7 of the Votes and Proceeding, my name is captured under Hon Members who were absent, when I was indeed present and duly signed the attendance book.
Thank you. Page 8, 9 --
Mr Speaker, I was present in this House yesterday, but I have been marked absent.
Page 10 … 15 -- Hon Members, the Votes and Pro- ceedings of Tuesday, 25th July, 2017, as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. Hon Members, we have the Official Report dated Thursday, 20th July, 2017. Any corrections?
[No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, 20 tt July, 2017.]
Hon Members, item numbered 3 -- Questions. The Question stands in the name of the Hon Member for Keta addressed to the Hon Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
So, Mr Speaker, I humbly want to withdraw the Question.
Order! Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Muntaka?
Hon Muntaka, you are out of order. [Laughter.] If Hon Members are entitled -- If you would please sit? -- To make appropriate comments when Hon Ministers are not present, so, are Hon Members entitled to make comments when an Hon Minister is wrongly pulled to the House? I think the Hon Member may well render a small apology and then we would proceed. [Uproar.] Several Hon Members -- rose --
Sit down! Sit down!
Order! Order! Hon Member, do the right thing and do not be dissuaded by those who are misleading you. I am not saying you should go and kneel down before anyone. But it is just gentlemanly to say you are sorry and that it is inadvertent or it is unfortunate. I mean what I am saying.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Member, I thank you for doing the honourable thing. Hon Minister, you are discharged. Thank you for coming to the House. Hon Members, item numbered 4. Hon Member for Ledzokuku? Is the Hon Member for Ledzokuku in the House? A Statement presented by the Hon Member for Ledzokuku on urban policing and the safety of police personnel.
Mr Speaker, I remain eternally grateful to you for the opportunity given me to speak on this very important subject of urban policing in Ghana. Mr Speaker, the Ghana Police Service (GPS) has a reputation for exhibiting professionalism and respect for authority. Nevertheless, the Service has some challenges just like any other human institution. Allegations of collusion with criminals and corruption on the part of some officers are not uncommon. Despite all of these mosaic traits and shapes of character of the GPS, the police command has consistently and commendably been engaging modern techniques of policing to improve upon the state of security within the country. One of such many interventions or techniques adopted by the GPS in recent times, is that of urban policing in the city centres. This intervention or approach by the GPS is under the command of “the Patrol Visibility and Accessibility Unit”'. The unit was established in 2013 and remained a unit until 2014 when it was renamed, the National Patrol Department (NPD). Mr Speaker, this intervention of urban policing and visibility enhancement has come with many positives such as reduction in the fear of crime among the public, diminishing rate of pick pocketing, improved police response to distress calls and improved public confidence in the Police. Mr Speaker, the legacy of the positives mentioned, face the threat of extinction by one significant challenge that has reared its head in recent weeks. This challenge is that of the safety of police personnel engaged in this novel intervention of urban policing. Mr Speaker, on Monday, June 12, 2017, Michael Kporye, a police officer on patrol duties at Tulako, near Michel Camp, was shot and killed by two armed men on a motorbike. On Thursday, 13th July, at about 1.00 p.m., two armed men shot two police officers in broad daylight at Lapaz in Accra, killing one of them in the process. Mr Speaker, the latter incident which involved two (2) police officers was that of a pathetic and sorrowful scene, according to an eyewitness, as one of the two unarmed officers who got shot pleaded with the armed attackers not to kill him and that he was unarmed and was actually at the scene by accident and not there to effect an arrest. On a normal day, Mr Speaker, it is a criminal who should be pleading with a security officer to spare his/her life and not the reverse. To have a police officer begging a criminal to spare his life gives a weighty indication that all is not well with this intervention of urban policing with respect to the safety of police personnel. Mr Speaker, either the intervention introduced by the Police has an operational deficiency or necessary tools for effective policing are in short supply. I am more inclined to associate myself with the latter, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, since I concede that I am a physician and not a security expert, I would like to seek your esteemed support and direction to have this phenomenon of police fatalities in the line of urban policing duties referred to the Committee on Defence and Interior to do an audit of the real state of the NPD; to identify the deficits that allow such police fatalities to occur so overtly and brazenly. Mr Speaker, I am always grateful for the opportunity given.
Thank you very much, Hon Member, for this Statement so ably read. Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. I would commend the Hon Member for the Statement ably read. Mr Speaker, it is indeed true that, sometime in the year 2013, the Patrol, Visibility and Accessibility Unit of the (PVAU), GPS was established by the Administration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to make policing accessible to the citizenry and also to reduce crime rate with the visibility concept of policing. Mr Speaker, at the time this noble idea was unveiled, it was the expectation of government that moving forward, the PVAU would be adequately re-tooled with all the protective gear put at the disposal of the men and women, which was designed to engender confidence among the personnel in the fight against crime. What we saw from the inception was a deliberate attempt to experiment with the concept and move beyond the point of experimentation and adequately resource and re-tool them. Mr Speaker, unfortunately, that has not been done, and to a large extent, our inability as a country to equip and re-tool the unit setup has exposed the men and women in uniform to the dangers that everybody can think about. Mr Speaker, let me seize the opportunity to extend our condolences to the families of the two Police Officers who were shot at Lapaz, and all those who have died in the line of duty, and to urge government to as a matter of urgency, take it upon itself to immediately re-tool and provide all personnel of the PVAU with
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by my Hon Colleague. Mr Speaker, it is true that for the safety of the citizens in this country, internally, our first line of defence is mostly the Police. Unfortunately, in recent times, we have heard of how a few policemen have been attacked, and some of them killed this year. Mr Speaker, in June this year, Constable Michael Kporyi, somebody that I know personally was on patrol duty around Tema when he was shot, while riding on his motorbike. Mr Speaker, adding to the ones that have been mentioned by my other Hon Colleagues, I would say that in the past, what we used to hear was that the Police on duty unfortunately used their fire arms and hurt the public. Mr Speaker, I am sure that whenever those things happen, the public outcry was very loud. Unfortunately, I do not hear that level of loudness, when the Police rather are in harm's way. Mr Speaker, I would want to urge the country, especially the civilians, to add to the mind-set that the Police are to protect us, but we would also have to protect them. Mr Speaker, in many of these cases, it is difficult for the Police to actually
Thank you very much, Hon Member. Hon Members, the next Statement stands in the name of the Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on a tribute in memory of Dumega Raymond Kodzo Okudzeto -- the man who was passionate about the development of his country and his region, the Volta Region. Yes, Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa? Tribute to the memory of Dumega Raymond Kodzo Okudzeto
Mr Speaker, I am exceedingly grateful to you in this moment of great sorrow for the opportunity granted me, to pay tribute not just to a dear uncle, but a dedicated patriot who exhibited a rare and relentless passion for the development and progress of our dear country and in particular, his beloved home region of Volta. I speak of a Statesman, the Dumega of the Anlo State, the founder of the Volta Foundation and the man who was not afraid to confront challenges -- Mr Raymond Kodzo Okudzeto who sadly passed away on 12th April, 2017, at age 82. Mr Speaker, Dumega Raymond Kodzo Okudzeto was born in Atorkor on the 18th of February, 1935. He was widely respected as an international businessman, having learned the rudiments of business from his father -- Grandpa Benjamin Agbakpe Okudzeto -- a very successful businessman of his era.
Thank you very much, Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa, for this Statement so well and ably made.
Mr Speaker, I beg to contribute to the Statement on the floor. I personally had known the late Okudzeto for over 20 years. I had personal interactions with him when he was a businessman and at that time, I was a young boy at the Ministry of Finance. These were in the year 1987 to this present day. I had a very close relationship with him. I knew him as somebody who had passion for development. He championed the cause of development, especially for the Volta Region. As a businessman, this man had a very high intelligence quotient. Anytime one talked to the late Okudzeto, it was business. His business had taken him beyond the shores of this country to many countries -- West Africa, East Africa and Central Africa and beyond Africa. This man did not stop there. He was also a philanthropist. He did so much for the young and up and coming youth of this country, irrespective of their political colour or affiliation. This man was all the time prepared to give his support to whoever was bold enough to approach him with a genuine matter. Mr Speaker, I also would want to add that this man was a peacemaker and a unifier who was ever ready to bring people together. He was a nationalist. He never fought for only the Volta Region but for Ghana. He was a very good politician and some of us benefited from his advice and enjoyed his tutelage. Mr Speaker, I would not want to take the wind out of the sail of a lot of Hon Members who would want to say something about Raymond Okudzeto. All I have to say is that the world is a stage and humans are the players. There is time for entry and time for exit. Death is a necessary end that would come where it must come. As the scriptures tell us, “If you live, you live for the Lord and if you die, you die for the Lord. Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” So, I would want to pay my condolence to the family that as a Zongo man, Mr Speaker, I would have said -- If it were in Arabic or Islam I would have said Kulun nafsin zaikatul maut, to wit, every life would taste the pain of death. So, we are all candidates queuing to follow Raymond Okudzeto. I wish him everlasting peace. Mr Speaker, on this note, I thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa in memory of his uncle, Dumega Raymond Okudzeto of blessed memory. Indeed, the late Dumega hailed from my constituency and I am the Member of Parliament (MP) for his constituency. I got to know the late Dumega in the year 2005 when I became the MP for the Anlo Constituency. He called me and told me that he hailed from my constituency and he was a businessman and he would like to collaborate with me as far as the development of Anlo was concerned. He had told me that, he had a foundation called the Volta Foundation for the purpose of spearheading development projects in our area and in the region at large. Thereafter, I used to call him Uncle Ray; because of his age, he could be my uncle. We collaborated on several projects together. The first project I recall was the provision of water to a community right in the estuary surrounded by water. We used a special technology and with the assistance of the Australian Embassy to extend water several hundreds of metres underground under the river to emerge on the island. A feat that was the first in our constituency. He was able to advocate for funds from the Australian Embassy that enabled us to undertake this Project. At the inauguration of the project, he stood by me. Mr Speaker, the second important project that we undertook together was the construction of a vocational training institute in Atorkor his hometown together with his chief, Torgbui Adjorlolo and a lady from the United States, Madam Peta Hall. We were able to mobilise funds to construct a modern vocational training centre for the community of Atorkor which teaches various subjects from catering, mechanics, auto electricity and other subjects. Just last year, he and I met at the school in order to pass out the first graduates of that school. It was a very memorable occasion and the school misses him dearly. Mr Speaker, the late Dumega granted a number of scholarships to a number of school children in my constituency. He was a philanthropist with open doors; he assisted anybody he could. He also was very strong in contri- buting to the peace and development of our Traditional Area. I recall that in 2006/ 2007 when we had chieftaincy disturbances in Anlo and the Government at the time, under the New Patriotic Party (NPP), had to intervene in order to restore peace in the area, it was the Dumega, Raymond Okudzeto, who led the fight. He actually was our intermediary between Government and the people and he was able to mobilise Government's efforts to restore peace and tranquillity in our area. Mr Speaker, because of this feat, the Anlo Traditional Council decided to award him the title, ‘Dumega'. ‘Dumega', as a title, was earned by Raymond Okudzeto. He just did not take the title, but it was conferred on him by the Anlo Traditional Council. On the political side, he belonged to the NPP Tradition and he had been a bridge between Anlo and the NPP Government since that time. In fact, anytime we had difficulties in undertaking projects, he was the main link; he would
Thank you very much, Hon Member. You made us know that the departed did so well that the title Dumega was conferred on him. Would you tell us what that means so that we would have full appreciation of it?
Mr Speaker, the title, Dumega means Elder Statesman. In the Anlo Tradition, after the chiefs, we have the queen mothers, then we have the elders and we also have other lower titles. So, the title actually refers to an Elder Statesman of the Anlo State. That is Dumega. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, order! We are paying tributes.
Thank you very much, Hon Member. We would move on to the next Statement by Hon Nartey, Member of Parliament for Ablekuma Central. Poor maintenance of public property Ebenezer Nii Narh Nartey (NPP -- Ablekuma Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to make a Statement on a matter that has received very little attention over the years. Mr Speaker, inasmuch as I am happy to speak about this topic, it saddens me a great deal now, and I believe most of us here and the nation as a whole, seem to pay very little attention to the maintenance of government properties. Mr Speaker, taking a visit to some public edifices has revealed that, as a nation, we have allowed our edifices to rot when we could have prevented that. During my visit to the following State properties such as the Osu Castle, Flagstaff House, Regional Coordinating
[NII NARH NARTEY] [NII NARH NARTEY] Council both Accra and Tamale, Accra Sports Stadium, former Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Pantang Hospital, Mental Hospital, National Theatre, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Lands Commission, Town and Country Planning, Birth and Death Registry, Mallam Junction traffic light to McCarthy Hill traffic light road. Other State-owned properties that are in very bad state in the Ablekuma Central Constituency include; Nkrumah Flats at Laterbiokorshie, Odorkor Police Station, Odorkor MTTD, New Abossey Okai Basic School, JT Cluster of Schools, drains and road network in Mataheko, Adwembu, Abossey Okai. Mr Speaker, five years ago, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) constructed three Millennium Schools in my constituency: President John Atta Mills Basic School, President John Mahamma Basic School, President Barrack Obama Basic School, all in the Salvation Army compound. They are all now in a bad state; the roof of some of their buildings leak when it rains. Mr Speaker, I would urge the House not to sit on the fence while Rome is being burnt down into ashes. This phenomenon has gained roots, and a lot must be done to curtail it. Mr Speaker, the lackadaisical attitudes towards maintenance of public properties cannot be overlooked. It is a huge drain to the taxpayer, as government must always find monies to build new edifices instead of renovating existing ones. Much progress cannot be made as programmes have to be stopped midstream due to bad state of the property. School children have to travel to far- away places just to embark on activities, programs and projects that could have taken place in their schools if the facilities were in good shape in their various schools. Mr Speaker, maintenance of properties such as schools, companies, institutions and banks that belong to private individuals and institutions receive much attentions than State-owned properties. Some of these State properties have been left in the bush and some also in very prime places and have been occupied by armed robbers, drug barons and land guards. Mr Speaker, most of the street lights on some principal streets of Accra and other areas are not working. For example, Tema Motorway traffic, from Dzworwulu to Mallam Junction on the N1, High Street Accra, part of Ministries road, from Obetsebi roundabout to Mallam Junc- tion, Kaneshie first light to Flamingo Junction, Abossey Okai Community, from Dansoman to Mass Junction, and along the Asoredanho roads, all the street lights are not working and that has paved way for criminals to attack innocent people on their way home all the time. Mr Speaker, I would like to outline a few measures that if we can put in place, they would at least help in maintaining public property in the country: (a) Those who are in charge of the responsibilities of ensuring that these facilities are maintained should be charged for causing financial loss to the state if they fail to act. (b) Heads of departments should make monitoring of such facilities integral parts of their portfolios and report to the higher authorities. (c) Ministries, Departments and A g e n c i e s ( M D A s ) s h o u l d exemplify their preparedness to lead this crusade as their buildings and other facilities need to be maintained. Our Ministries should lead by example! (d) Government should release funds to its institutions to enable them do constant maintenance. These suggestions, I believe, would bring these edifices in good shape. Mr Speaker, I am highly optimistic that if these measures are adopted, and proper monitoring is done, we would save a lot of money. I would like to appeal to my colleagues from both sides of the House to also involve themselves in the monitoring aspect, since most of these properties are in our constituencies and we are witnesses to that. Mr Speaker, I am grateful for this opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Yes, Hon Member for Ledzokuku?
Mr Speaker, it is no news when we hear or see public property degenerate in quality and form as the years go by. Those who have read Economics would tell you that it is a tragedy of the commons. Any property which belongs to the Government or public is usually not treated with much care as compared to private property. The reason is very simple. If we take our private houses, we are all aware that if we allowed them to degenerate to some extent, we would spend more money to refurbish them than if we did regular maintenance. Mr Speaker, once a cost-benefit analysis is done, one would realise that there is no other option than to treat one's house well. However, when it comes to public property, there is an amorphous entity referred to as Government. Amorphous for this particular purpose, because it is difficult to identify, in particular, the one who would lose when the maintenance is not done. This is not only with houses. In my constituency, Ledzokuku, I was recently told that as a Member of Parliament, I should help paint the public school that I attended which belongs to the 48 Engineers Regiment. Even to paint it is a problem because those who occupy it cannot identify the owner. Mr Speaker, at the Ledzekuku-Krowor Municipality (LEKMA), we had this heavy duty equipment for grading the roads. It had been lying in the open for over eight months and when I asked for the cost of repairs, it would cost about GH¢11,000.00. I had to tell the Assembly that if it would not cost GH¢50,000, it was worth fixing. As I speak, they have moved to try and fix it. What can we do to avoid such occurrences? It is very simple; there is nothing new under the sun. The developed countries have gone through this stage. What they realised was that Government was largely motivated by the response of the citizens in terms of how well they would vote for
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute positively to the Statement which was made on the floor of the House. Mr Speaker, I would want to refer you to the state of the Takoradi Airport as of now. It is an airport that has suddenly become very important in the economic affairs of this country. Apart from the fact that we have spent so much in enlarging the runway and bringing it to standard for purposes of domestic flight, the physical structure of the facility is in a deplorable state. This is because it was at the sole use of the military until recently. Now it is combined as a military facility as well as a civil facility. Mr Speaker, I would also want to refer you to one of the key heritage sites we have in this country and that is the Cape Coast Castle. Even though it is such an important tourist attraction facility, we find it difficult to maintain it either because it is so expensive to do or because we simply lack the culture of maintenance. Mr Speaker, again, I would want to refer you to the state of our most important arterial road in this country which is the Accra-Tema motorway. Several attempts in the past have been made to either maintain the road and/or improve upon it, but the maintenance are done in such a way that they are not able to meet the quality of the original material used. So, the Motorway continues to deteriorate particularly, most parts of the shoulders of the road are now hanging. The potholes can no longer be called so because they have become gullies. Yet, we continue to toll it and take moneys from our people. School buildings are left to rot. Mr Speaker, I would also want to refer you to the foyer outside this Chamber -- the carpet has become so discoloured as a result of overuse. The seats in the coffee area are peeling off; meanwhile, the state of Mr Speaker's own tunnel -- I would speak and drive the point home here --
Hon Member, for the record, that tunnel used to house offices which have been removed. So, if you may be informed, it is not just a tunnel, but former offices of some staff of Parliament. It is a floor of an office and not just a tunnel. Hon Member, you may continue.
Mr Speaker, we came to meet it -- I believe it was removed around March this year. Mr Speaker, the point I would want to make is that, we do not have to leave some important aspects of our important institutional structures in such a state. This is because in this House, often times, we receive important delegations from other countries, who, apart from visiting us in the Chamber and seeing how the proceedings are undertaken, also site-see. So, it is important that we maintain our facilities to the standards that are acceptable. Mr Speaker, I would want to take the opportunity to commend the Hon Member who made the Statement for bringing this important matter to the attention of the House, and I know that, other Hon Members would contribute to it, so that at the end of day, this matter could be referred to the appropriate body for the necessary attention. Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Hon Minister, I would give you the opportunity to contribute from the Majority Caucus and I would take one contribution too from the Minority Caucus.
Hon Deputy Minister, I would want to ask you -- if headmasters do not maintain, agency heads do not maintain -- is it not the question of money?
Mr Speaker, as much as I can agree with you to a point on that score, I believe we all look at the point that we would have money and funding but sometimes, leadership is also very important. There are some people you can leave money with, but they would not think of using the money for a facility or to maintain a facility. So, it is about leadership and the attitude towards the way we manage facilities that are put in our care. If we do not start from somewhere --
Hon Minister, I believe it is about budgeting. If there is a budget for maintenance and it is released, it would be used for it.
Mr Speaker, much as I can agree with you to some point, we do not have the budget now, but the person is living in the property, managing the school or the clinic. Some of them have some sort of Internally Generated Funds (IGFs) somewhere. I think we do not set our priorities right in terms of maintenance. When we have to do some of these things, we always have to look at the Government to find us money to do it.
It is about time that as managers and caretakers of government facilities, we put our heads together to determine how best we can use our leadership skills — We should be innovative and creative at some point. We should not always sit back for the Government to give us money to maintain the small facilities that we run. That is why we are on the tangent that we are now. Mr Speaker, when one visits the Nkrumah Flats, they are in a very serious state; about 80 per cent of people in there are squatters. As I speak with you, the Ministry has taken up the challenge to evict the squatters from the place, so that we can bring some life back into the old flats that we used to have. Mr Speaker, Kaizer Flats, for example, is in a very serious deplorable state. It is interesting to note that the tenants themselves do not even want to move for us to rehabilitate or bring back some life into that flats. The Kaizer Flats are a death trap. The court has ruled that the tenants leave for the Ministry or the Tema Development Company to take over and rehabilitate or renovate the flats. So, it is a serious situation. I believe that, people think that it is the duty of government to rehabilitate the facility for them. Mr Speaker, when we go to some other jurisdictions, if one rents a house or an apartment, the person pays some amount of money down for maintenance. When the person is leaving the house and it is not in its right frame, they use that money to renovate or maintain the house. It is about time that, as a country, we found ways and means of regulating that sector. If we are given government bungalows or facility, whoever is running that facility should ensure that, that facility is maintained; be it a clinic, a school, or the national theatre, or any government property — Whichever it is, the persons in there should not sit back and wait for government to put some money in the budget before they maintain or run the facility. Mr Speaker, I share the same sentiments with my Hon Colleague who brought this to the fore. This is not the first time the issue of culture of maintenance has come to this floor. I believe that if we start surcharging people who are in charge of government facilities, they will sit up and not sit back and wait for the infrastructure to deteriorate before government sets in. Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to also let people who occupy govern- ment bungalows know that where they live now is their identity. So we should not wait for government to come and renovate the bungalow for us. Mr Speaker, let me please take the opportunity to also commend one of my predecessors; the former Deputy Minister for the Greater Accra Region. As the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Works and Housing, I have taken it upon myself to drive around to have a look at government properties and have a first- hand information about what pertains on the ground. As I walked into one of the properties, I thought it was a new bungalow that had been put up. But I was told that was where the former Deputy Minister for the Greater Accra Region lived. He had actually maintained the facility as if it was his own house. Before he left the place, he renovated the place, painted and weeded everywhere. But some of the facilities an eye sore. I think we all have to rise to the occasion to ensure that we maintain government facilities because that is where we live. If the property was for the person, he or she would have found a way of maintaining it. But because it is a public building and it is for the Government, we just leave the bungalows to deteriorate. Dr Clement A. Apaak — rose --
Hon Dr Apaak, you would have the last spot.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on the other side of the isle. Mr Speaker, I believe that we need to get certain issues very clear. Indeed, as a nation, we have suffered and continue to suffer from our inability to ensure that our laws are enforced and that those who have the opportunities to live in public provided spaces do what is right in the best interest of our nation. Mr Speaker, as a son of a civil servant who has lived in various parts of this country, I can say on authority that, the culture of maintaining State property is a challenge that continues to bedevil our nation. Indeed, it is not just confined to the national capital, but it is found across the length and breadth of our nation. Mr Speaker, we have rules and regulations, and if we resolve to enforce them and hold people accountable for doing what is not in the national interest, I believe we would make a headway. Mr Speaker, we can look at other jurisdictions for best practices. Indeed, an Hon Colleague from the other side of the House, Hon Dr Bernard Okoe Boye made references to what pertains in other parts of the world. I want to reemphasise that. As a student at the University of Bergen in Norway, when I was assigned my room, an inventory was taken by the housing department of the University of Bergen, cataloguing every single item in my apartment, including the nature of the paint. I had to pay a deposit and when I finished my studies at the University of Bergen, the same housing department came in and took an inventory. So, I had to pay for every single item that was not in the shape that it was when I occupied that space. The wear out and the defacing of the walls, courtesy of my two daughters, required that I had to pay. I believe that as a nation, if we begin to surcharge and make sure that those who occupy public spaces as part of the facilities provided for them to serve this nation are made to be accountable before and after, we would begin to make a headway. Mr Speaker, I thought that it was part of the efforts to try and resolve these kinds of challenges that caused the current government to appoint a Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation. Indeed, in the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on the other side of the House, he called for effective monitoring and evaluation, and I would want to use this opportunity, seeing my senior Hon Colleague here; the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, whose portfolio is not fully defined, to consider factoring this into his range of responsibilities. This is because, protecting public property, quite clearly, would require that we have effective monitoring and evaluation about the use of public space. Dr Anthony A. Osei — rose —
Hon Minister, do you have a point of order?
Mr Speaker, on this note, I would want to thank you — [Laughter.]
Hon Minister, I still want to hear you.
Mr Speaker, I would want my younger Hon Colleague who was in charge of special operations at the Tema Port to know that my Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is not his M&E. He was a policeman. I am an intellectual M&E person — [Laughter.]
So, you are not monitoring housing and maintenance.
Mr Speaker, not in the way he prescribed it — [Laughter.]
Very well. Hon Members, this is the end of contribution to this Statement. Hon Majority Leader, there are three more Statements that have been admitted by the Rt Hon Speaker, but looking at the Order Paper, I noticed that we have programmed a Committee of the Whole for 2.00 p.m. so, I would go by your guidance.
Mr Speaker, I am informed that, the group that we would want to meet at the Committee of the Whole is here and waiting for us to invite them in. And given where we are, I believe we would not be able to deal with the items numbered as 5 and 6 on the Order Paper. So, we could go to item numbered 7, which involves committee sittings. Mr Speaker, with that, I may want to move that we do not continue with the Statements. We would reschedule those Statements to tomorrow and take an adjournment. I would want to move that we do adjourn until 12.00 noon tomorrow. But, Mr Speaker, because the Motion is not seconded, if I may respectfully -- Mr Speaker, yesterday, the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs met with us to consider their Report involving the Bill about the Special Prosecutors Office which was laid and determined that we should not as a House consider it as urgent; the House agreed with them. Equally so did we consider the Report from the Finance and Local Government Committee relating to the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017 and the determination was about the same, that we should get more space to enable the Committees charged with that responsibility to have broader stakeholder consultations. Mr Speaker, that being the case, on behalf of the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, I would want to seek the leave of the House to withdraw the Bill that was introduced by the Attorney- General and Minister for Justice. I so put before this House.
Mr Speaker, first of all, I am not struggling and I have never struggled. Mr Speaker, instead of the Hon Minority Chief Whip merely supporting the request that I put before the House, he is saying that I have now seen the wisdom; I have wisdom from God. [Laughter.] It has been eternally part of my physical composition; that endowment is from God and it is not an event of yesterday. [Laughter.]
Very well. The record shall reflect that the two specific Bills that were laid, that is the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017, and the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017, are withdrawn.
Now we would take the Motion for adjournment again.
Mr Speaker, I do now move that this House adjourns until 12.00 noon tomorrow. [Pause.] [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, given the fact that we would be reclining into a Committee of the Whole, we may rather take a suspension instead of an adjournment. Mr Speaker, so, the Motion now is for the House to stand suspended until the item numbered 7 on today's Order Paper is considered.
Mr Speaker, our Standing Orders provide in Order 44 that if it is indeed a Closed Sitting, then no strangers may be permitted. This is not a Closed Sitting, it is a Committee of the Whole. So, the strangers would be in the Gallery. Mr Speaker, we have segmented the discourse into two parts, the other parts would rather lead to Leadership. So, I guess that should appropriately be between us and the Commissioners; that would be held in camera. For the other leg, as far as I am concerned, if the public gets to hear about that, it does not really matter.
Mr Speaker, with this clarification, I beg to second the Motion that we should move into a Committee of the Whole. 2.17 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 3.52 p. m. -- Sitting resumed.
Hon Majority Leader, I would now take your Motion for adjournment.
Mr Speaker, as you said, we have exhausted the business for today, and reclining to plenary, I would now want to move that this House adjourns until 12.00 noon tomorrow.
The House was accordingly adjourned at 3.53 p. m. till Thursday, 27th July, 2017, at 12.00 noon.