VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, item numbered 2 -- Correction of Votes and Proceedings dated Thurday, 12th October, 2017.
Hon Member, the date is on yours. Let us make progress. There is only one edition of Votes and Proceedings for today. Page 1… 9 --
Mr Speaker, I was trying to catch your eye at page 7. I was here yesterday, but I have been marked absent at number 15.
Thank you. Page 10 … 33 --
Hon Member, these things take unnecessary time. The corrections would be done accordingly.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 12 th October, 2017, as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. Hon Members, we have a lot of Business to do and all the Hon Leaders have agreed that we should move expeditiously and stick to the argument and the Business -- I would so plead with you. Hon Members, we would take item numbered 3 -- Business Statement. Hon Majority Leader?
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Mr Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 12th October, 2017, and arranged Business of the House for the Third Week ending Friday, 20th October, 2017.
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: Mr Speaker, in all, nine (9) Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to twenty-five (25) Questions during the week. The Questions are of the following types: i. Urgent - 1; ii. Oral - 24 Statements Mr Speaker, on Tuesday, 17th October, 2017, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources is expected to make a Statement to mark UN Global Hand Washing Day. Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 70(2), other Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. No. of Question(s) i. Minister for Agriculture -- 1 ii. Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation -- 1 iii. Minister for Aviation -- 1 iv. Minister for Foreign Affairs -- 2 v. Minister for the Interior -- 4 vi. Minister for Energy -- 5 vii. Minister for Finance -- 4 viii. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs -- 1 ix. Minister for Roads and Highways -- 6 Total number of Questions 20 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. 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 consi- deration . Questions -- *173. Mr Ernest Henry Norgbey (Ashaiman): To ask the Minister for Agriculture the procurement method used in procuring the insecticides for the armyworm eradication. *161. Mr Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu): To ask the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation whether there is any support available to institutions of
*162. Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza (Adaklu): To ask the Minister for Aviation when works on the Ho airport project will be completed. *163. Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (North Tongu): To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs measures the Ministry is putting in place to prevent non-Ghanaian citizens from acquiring Ghanaian passports. *164. Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (North Tongu): To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether the Ministry is aware of any revisions by other countries of their diplomatic courtesies extended to Ghana's former Presidents and other deserving Ghanaian officials. Statements -- By Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, to mark UN Global Hand Washing Day. Presentation of Papers -- Annual Report of the Forestry Commission for the year 2013. Motions Consideration Stage of Bills-- Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 (Continuation of debate) Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 Committee sittings. Urgent Question --
To ask the Minister for the Interior what the Ministry is doing to curb the highway robberies in the Manso-Adubia Constituency. Questions -- 152. Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (Nsawam-Adoagyiri): To ask the Minister for the Interior what plans are underway to ensure the payment of deserving compen- sation to the victims of the Puebo explosion and the implementation of recommendations in the report on the explosion. *153. Mrs Della Sowah (Kpando): To ask the Minister for the Interior what steps are being taken to collaborate with Nigerian counterparts towards preventing criminals like the kidnapper Evans Uchenna, who was reported by the Vanguard news- paper to have used proceeds to buy 2 houses in Ghana, from doing so. *154. Mr Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu): To ask the Minister for the Interior whether fire safety checks have been undertaken in public high-rise buildings across the country and if not, what steps are being taken in that regard. *94. Mr Abdul Aziz Muniru (Akan): To ask the Minister for Energy when the Ministry will extend electricity to the following communities: (i) Ketepui (ii) Gyamlome (iii) Kosamba (iv) Kadjebi (v) New Zongo (vi)
including EXIM Levy, Special Import Levy and Inspection Fees as assessed amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of six million, sixty- eight thousand, nine hundred and thirty-three Euros (€6,068,933.00) on imported construction materials and equipment in respect of the upgrade and major rehabilitation of the Tamale Teaching Hospital -- Phase II by VAMED Engineering Inter- national BV. Presentation and First Reading of Bills-- National Identification Authority (Amendment) Bill Motions Consideration Stage of Bills Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 (Continuation of debate) Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 (Continuation of debate) Coastal Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 Committee sittings. Questions *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 beneficiaries recruited under the Youth Employment Agency (YEA). *127. Mr Peter Nortsu-Kotoe (Akatsi North): To ask the Minister for Finance when the Ministry will release the sum of ninety-four million, five hundred and fifty-four thousand, nine hundred and seventy-nine Ghana cedis and ninety-three pesewas (GH¢94,554,979.93) as disbursement arrears for November and December, 2016 to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund). *171. Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza (Adaklu): To ask the Minister for Finance how much revenue has been lost so far since the abolishing of VAT on airline tickets (domestic) and what the economic impact is since the introduction of this tax relief. *172. Mr Stephen M. E. K. Ackah (Suaman): To ask the Minister for Finance how much has been realised so far from all sources towards the Ghana @ 60 celebra- tions and how much moneys have been expended on each expenditure item. *167. Mr Benjamin Komla Kpodo (Ho Central): To ask the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs when the President, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will constitute the Presidential Committee on the Emoluments of article 71 office holders as provided for in article 71 of the 1992 Constitution. Statements -- Presentation of Papers-- Motions -- Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for waiver of Import Duties, Import VAT, ECOWAS Levy, and other approved imposts including EXIM Levy, Special Import Levy and Inspection Fees as assessed amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of six million, sixty-eight thousand, nine hundred and thirty- three Euros (€6,068,933.00) on imported construction materials and equipment in respect of the upgrade and major rehabilitation of the Tamale Teaching Hospital -- Phase II by VAMED Engineering International BV. -- Consequential Resolution Consideration Stage of Bills -- Coastal Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 (Continuation) of debate Committee sittings. Questions -- *108. Ms Laadi Ayii Ayamba (Pusiga): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the road, including a bridge over the White Volta, from Pusiga through Kultamise to Kolgungu will be constructed. *109. Mr Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu (Tamale North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what the state of the 3rd Ring Road (Kanvilli - Fuo -Taha Road) in Tamale (which was awarded on contract to M/S Awacon Gh. Ltd. on 26th July, 2016) is and the plans to complete the construction to bring relief and improve livelihoods of communities on the stretch. *110. Mr Abdul Aziz Muniru (Akan): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Eastern Corridor road which is currently under construction will be com- pleted. *111. Mr Abdul Aziz Muniru (Akan): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the missing link between Jasikan town and Dodo Pepesu town on the Eastern Corridor road will be constructed. *112. Mr Mahama Ayariga (Bawku Central): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what steps are being taken to construct and tar the Bawku to Garu town road. *113. Ms Sophia Karen Ackuaku (Domeabra/Obom): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Kofi Donkor Bokwashie Bridge will be constructed to ease the plight of commuters. Statements -- Presentation of Papers -- Motions -- (a) Second Reading of Bills-- Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 (b) Third Reading of Bills -- Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 Coastal Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 Committee sittings.
Thank you very much.
Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa?
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful. Mr Speaker, I beg to commend the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee, and to draw his attention to just two issues. The first one has to do with the number of Questions. When I did the arithmetic, it should be 25 and not 20; so, if that could be corrected. I know that the Hon Majority Leader is a good mathematician, so that might be an oversight. Mr Speaker, the second issue has to do with the hint that the Hon Majority Leader provided that the Hon Minister for Communications is likely to make a Statement next week. Mr Speaker, I believe strongly that, that Statement would be related to the matter which has to do with the National Communications Authority (NCA). This is because you had earlier during the week given us some indication that the Hon Minister for Communications would want to make a Statement on that matter and it is the reason Hon Samuel Nartey George's Statement has been in abeyance since. Mr Speaker, I would want to find out if Hon Samuel Nartey George would be allowed to also make his Statement next week, so that we could have a fair balance since that is the indication that you gave the House earlier in the week when his Statement had been admitted and based on subsequent information, you asked that it should held on. So, our side of the aisle has been respectfully waiting for further direction. I do hope that in all fairness, when the Hon Minister for Communications is given the opportunity, Hon Samuel Nartey George and our side of the House would also be given the opportunity to make our Statements. Mr Speaker, I would humbly seek your guidance so far as this matter is concerned. Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity, except to add that the Hon Majority Leader when he was invited -- I sought to help him but he did not accept my generosity. Mr Speaker, if the Hon Majority Leader could open to page 1 of the Business Statement -- the devil he was avoiding is here; the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017, which is under the Consideration Stage of Bills. Mr Speaker, I would want to know if that is what the Hon Majority Leader meant and wanted. Mr Speaker, certainly, I trust that today, we would go through the Third Reading and get the Northern Development Authority Bill passed, unless of course, the Hon Majority Leader is contemplating in his mind a Second Consideration which I believe is not a big contemplation, so, he should accept that. The House of debate and the floor of debate is Parliament. Mr Speaker, I am aware that we have discussed at pre-Sitting, that Hon Members should feel free to bring any matter within the remit of the law and the Constitution for discussion in the Chamber. But if an Hon Member addresses the matter at a press conference, he or she would then put us, including the Speaker of Parliament, in difficulty, wanting to address the same matter on the floor of Parliament. I know Mr Speaker has been generous in accepting many of the Statements. Mr Speaker, so, it should be a rule; if one wants a matter addressed here, this is a House of debate; let us bring the matter up here. But subsequent to it, I believe we cannot pre-empt what the National Communications Authority and the Hon Minister for Communications would make. But it would be important that we know the extent to which the excessive regulatory measures may be undermining our effective freedom of expression in the country through the independence of the media which is guaranteed under article 162 of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker, so, I believe that when the Hon Minister appears here, Hon Members would have the opportunity to debate whatever Statement she would be making on this particular subject and the steps she is taking to get the National Media Commission (NMC) on board; Mr Speaker himself has been Hon Minister for Communications before and I was privileged to join him later. There are matters which are technical and we have to understand that there has always been a turf war between the NMC and the NCA in terms of regulating radio frequencies in the country. Probably, this is the opportunity for Parliament to take a decisive action on it in order to enhance the frontiers of the freedom of expression. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I believe we can get the Business of the House adopted and move on to the Commencement of Public Business. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, let me acknowledge the issue raised by Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa -- the arithmetic error that he brought up. Indeed, in the concluding sentence of 2 (b) of the Business of the House -- we have indicated that the numbers are one Urgent Question and 24 Oral Answers, which brings the number to 25 and not 20. I think the calculator of the table officers failed them; so that brought the number to 20 instead of 25 and I acknowledge that the number should be 25. Mr Speaker, the other issue that the Hon Member raised with respect to the Statement that I hinted on; as I said, the Hon Minister may be making the Statement either on Wednesday or Thursday, that is, if she comes back. But the point that needs to be added has already been joined by the Hon Minority Leader. I believe that as a House, we should take the business of plenary seriously. If a matter comes before us and it is deliberated upon and Hon Members feel dissatisfied and would want to litigate the matter or further comment on the matter after, that is left to them. But an Hon Member does not go and hold a press conference on the matter and when he or she thinks that it is not sufficiently addressed, would want to bring it back to the Chamber. It is disrespect to this House and today, I had a chat with Hon Samuel Nartey
George and he acknowledged that, maybe, it should not have been done the way it was done. I believe it should provide useful lessons to all of us, caucuses and individuals. People cannot go and hold press conferences outside and bring the issue to plenary -- that will not be allowed. It is not done in any Parliament! The Hon Member may disagree with me, but I am teaching him that it is not done anywhere in any Parliament, and I guess that we heard the Hon Minority Leader say so. Mr Speaker, the Hon Ablakwa continued that in all fairness, Hon Samuel George must be given the opportunity to make his own Statement. When an Hon Minister comes to make a statement of policy and on the same occasion one would want to be given the opportunity to make his or her own Statement? Again, let me know anywhere else that this happens. There was a miscommunication at the very outset when the Hon Minister gave an indication that he was coming to make a Statement. I guess another window was opened to the Hon Member, but it was corrected subsequently and because of this, it may not be permitted. It does not lie with me to make that final pronouncement -- it lies with the Speaker. I believe that when the Hon Minister comes, Mr Speaker will find ways to address the matter. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader drew our attention to page 1 of the Business of the House -- the Northern Development Authority Bill, at the Consideration Stage -- and he was right. Indeed, when we were crafting this yesterday, we did not know that we would be able to travel the distance. So, out of the abundance of caution, we decided to put it there. Unfortunately, when we were able to deal with it, I guess we ought to have taken it out. The other matter that the Hon Minority Leader related to was for the application of excessive regulatory measures. I do not want to jump the issue before the Hon Minister comes to read his Statement, but if whatever measures that have been applied conform to the law, I wonder whether anybody would describe that measure as excessive. If it falls within the ambit of the law, it cannot be excessive. But we leave that to the Hon Minister. The step the Hon Minister is taking to get the NMC on board, again, that may be pronounced upon by the Hon Minister; I would not pretend to know what steps the Hon Minister is taking. Maybe, if she comes and it is not incorporated in the Statement and she would want to, by way of comments, offer solutions, I guess that would be appreciated. I thank Hon Colleagues for the contributions and corrections that they have sought to effect on the draft agenda.
The Business of the House is hereby adopted as presented. Hon Members, we move on to item numbered 5; we would not have taken the Statement today. But for the fact that there is a tribute in memory of a departed Colleague, I would invite the reading of the tribute to the Late Hon Alhaji Abukari Sumani to be read by the Hon Member for Tamale North. Hon Member, you would table the entire paper and then you would just speak to it briefly so that we would save time. Then there would be contributions from each side. Then the Leaders will summate. Please, go ahead.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I am accordingly guided. Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for the opportunity to eulogise a proud son of Ghana, Dagbon and Tamale North and a former Member of this House. It is a rare honour to speak of a man whose shoes I struggle to fit, whose seat in this august House dresses me in grace. Mr Speaker, Hon Alhaji Abukari Sumani won three successive elections in years 2000,2004 and 2008 to represent the good people of Tamale North in this august House. During his tenure as MP, he served at different times on committees such as Roads and Highways, Foreign Affairs, Lands and Natural Resources, Subsidiary
Thank you very much, Hon Member. I will allow one Hon Member from each side five minutes each.
I thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I also beg to eulogise our late Brother. I knew this man for a very long time even when I was a student in Tamale Secondary School (Tamasco). He played a very great role. As an old student of Tamasco, the Late Hon Abukari Sumani often came there to encourage us. Like he said, this man climbed to a level to become the lawyer for Northern Regional Development Corporation (NRDC). In fact, when I was the Northern Regional Minister somewhere in 2005 during the Dagbon crisis, Hon Abukari Sumani, with fellow colleagues from the Northern Region, played a very great role in helping me to ensure that peace returned to Dagbon. Mr Speaker, in fact, I got closer to Hon Abukari Sumani because of one of his wives who was the Late Meri Qadri. Unfortunately, I got closer when my son also got closer to Mary Kadri's daughter. Mr Speaker, I believe what we can say is that the world is a stage and humans are players. There is a time for entry and time for exit. Death is a necessary end that would come when it must come. Like the Islamic quotation will say; “ËõãóøÅöáóíúäóÇ ÊõÑúÌóÚõæäó” Every life or creation of Allah will taste the pain of death. I am not surprised that Hon Abukari Sumani has left us in this mood. -- Mr Speaker, eventually, whether we like it or not, we will join him. [Laughter.] I would want to support this by saying, if we live, we live for the LORD; if we die, we die for the LORD. Whether we live or we die, we belong to the LORD. With these few words, Mr Speaker, I believe deep down my heart that Hon Abukari Sumani should be resting peacefully in the bosom of the Lord.
I thank you and particularly for keeping to time.
None Yes, Hon Member?
I thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, let me also take the opportunity to thank my Hon Colleague from Tamale North for this Statement. Some of us were really very shocked when we heard of the demise of the Late Hon Abukari Sumani. Mr Speaker, for those who knew us in this House, he was an uncle to me. When I joined this House in 2005, he was already here. He picked me up to encourage and show me the way around Parliament. The nature of Hon Abukari Sumani, as stated in the Statement, was to eagerly help young people, especially when he saw that they had potential.
Thank you very much. Leadership?
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Statement to eulogise the late Hon Alhaji Abukari Sumani. Mr Speaker, he joins the Late Mariama Alhassan and, as Hon Boniface said, his beloved Hajia Meri Qadri. May their souls rest in perfect peace, and may they receive the respite of Allah. I eulogise a diplomat and public servant with exemplary leadership. Hon Alhaji Abukari Sumani was born at Savelugu on 28th April. His father, Sumani Bukari was a chief and a politician who became a District Commissioner (DC) of Western Dagomba and a two-term Member of Parliament for Savelugu. His mother, Mariama Alhassan was a trader. Hon Sumani was a royal of Savelugu. He had his primary and middle school education at Savelugu Primary School and Kalpohini Middle Boarding School respectively. He attended the Ghana Secondary School (GHANASCO) in Tamale. He proceeded to pursue his university education. He graduated from the University of Ghana, Legon and obtained a Bachelor of Law degree (LLB) in 1970. He proceeded to the Ghana School of Law to pursue the professional law programme and graduated as a Barrister-at-Law in 1972. Hon Alhaji Abukari Sumani was called to the Ghana Bar in the same year. He became the first student from GHANASCO to be called to the Bar. Hon Alhaji Abukari Sumani practised as a lawyer and was a dedicated public servant. He was a State Attorney with the Attorney-General's Department for some years. He became a State Attorney in the Ashanti Region, Kumasi, between 1972 and 1974; and a Solicitor for the State Insurance Company (SIC) in the Ashanti Region, Kumasi; Eastern Region, Koforidua and Accra in the Greater- Accra Region from 1974 to 1976. He later became the Managing Director of the now defunct Northern Regional Distribution Corporation (NRDC) in 1977, a position he held until he was forced into exile during the Provisional National Defence Council's (PNDC's) coup d'etat that overthrew the Limann Government in 1981. Hon Sumani was also an astute politician. He returned to Ghana from exile to help found the National Democratic Congress (NDC) an offshoot of the PNDC. He served in different capacities in the NDC: Member, National Executive Committee; Member, National Organising Committee; Northern Regional Secretary (1993 - 1994); Hon Sumani was also a diplomat. He served as the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Pakistan from 1994 to 2001 during the Administration of Ft. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings. Hon Sumani was a distinguished legislator. He was a founding member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He first entered Parliament on 7th January, 2001, after winning the 2000 Parliamentary Elections on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to represent the then Choggu/Tishigu Constituency in the Third Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. In 2004, the then Choggu/Tishigu and Gukpegu/Sabondjida Constituencies were re-demarcated into three Constituencies; Tamale North, Tamale Central and Tamale South. Hon Sumani was the first to represent the Tamale North Constituency in the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. Hon Sumani retained the Tamale North seat for the NDC in the 2008 General Elections to serve in the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. He therefore served three Parliaments, having represented the people of Choggu/Tishigu in 2001 (Third Parliament) and Tamale North in 2005 and 2009 (Fourth and Fifth Parliaments). During his tenure in Parliament, Hon Sumani served on a number of Parliamentary Committees including: Defence, Interior and National Security; Foreign Affairs; Roads and Highways; Lands and Natural Resources; Local Government and Rural Development; Subsidiary Legislation Special Budget. He was also Chairman of the Muslim Caucus of Parliament. Under his leadership as Chairman of the Muslim Caucus of Parliament, the annual Night of Power programme was instituted. The programme brings together the leadership of all Muslim sects, led by the National Chief Imam, to offer special prayers for Ghana and for people of Ghana in the Holy month of Ramadan. He also served as the Chairman of the Northern Caucus of Parliament a parliamentary group that champions the development of the North and wellbeing of the people of northern Ghana. Hon Sumani also served on the Boards of public institutions. During the Administration of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority from 2009 to 2014. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB). From February 2015 to January 2017, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Public Procurement Authority under President Mahama. Outside public life, Alhaji Abukari was an active farmer. He was an uncle to the Hon Minority Leader, Lawyer Haruna Iddrisu and Alhaji Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama. Hon Sumani is survived by ten (10) children and many grandchildren. Mr Speaker, Hon Abukari Sumani was one of the senior members of the Bar who served Parliament and indeed the nation Ghana creditably. He exhibited leadership in the House. He talked only when it mattered. He commanded tremendous respect even from both sides of the House. He was very affable and likable to many, including Members and staff of Parliament. He displayed a good sense of humour. This rare gift helped in reducing tensions in the House. Presiding officers -- the Speakers -- invited him to intervene when they needed to reduce tension, calm nerves and exercise order in the House. And he has never disappointed the presiding officers and his Colleague Members of Parliament. The Parliament of Ghana really missed Hon Sumani when he was unable to return to the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. He was very passionate about the development of the North in particular and the country in general. He was also very concerned about the security and safety of the Ghanaian populace. Even though he would be missed by the Parliament of Ghana, his contributions to debate, his wise counsel and experience in the Legislature will forever live on. Hon Abukari was humble, and humility was his hallmark. He was disciplined and generous at all times. When he arrived in Ghana after serving as the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, I met him in the offices of his bosom friend and brother, Alhaji Mahdi of Kumbungu. He then indicated that he wanted to run for elections, and that he had been invited to run for the Choggu/Tishigu seat for the National Democratic Congress (NDC). These were the very last few weeks to the election. I assured him that we should go to Tamale and give it a trial. Thankfully, he was successful and served the people of the now Tamale North which was then Choggu/Tishigu. Mr Speaker, the pilgrims to Mecca bore testimonies of his relationship with his Maker, Allah, and the extent to which he served Islam. In this Parliament, he would be remembered for the institution of the Night of Power Programme, which has become one of the most important pillars of what we observe every other year during the month of Ramadan. Mr Speaker, I recall that at the time that he encouraged me to get married, as a young person, he had identified a very pretty lady around Nima. He shared with me, as an uncle, that he was very convinced that I was to marry that particular person. He did that with Hajia Jamila. At the time, my love was somewhere and it was difficult to convince me to do that. Mr Speaker, we pay tribute to a former diplomat, ambassador and Member of Parliament (MP.) I recall that it was in Boston, where we led a delegation to the NCSL, when I had to accompany the Hon Majority Leader to an award ceremony in the evening, that I told him that there was some discomfort and I needed to get back to Ghana. I did not like the way I left the late Alhaji Sumani on his sick bed at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Mr Speaker, I got the opportunity to visit him most nights at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. I shudder to ask myself what we keep doing with public resources as a country; our hospitals are still in a state where we sometimes struggle to have a decent bed to lie on even as we wait for special care. Mr Speaker, I thank you and the Government. I recall that when my senior brother, Mr Mohammed, and Dr Iddrisu Mutawakilu, who were at his bedside called that he had passed on, I got a call from the National Security and subse- quently from the Inspector-General of Police, who told me that the late Alhaji Sumani was his friend, and there was an offer by the Government to airlift the body for burial. Mr Speaker, but the family decided that they wanted him in Tamale quietly. It was his wish, while he was alive, that he had a death and funeral that reflected his humility.
Hon Minority Leader, if you could kindly -- you already know what is happening.
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank Hon Suhuyini Sayibu for the Statement. I thank you, Mr Speaker. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Thank you very much. Hon Majority Leader, another five minutes.
Mr Speaker, I also rise to add my voice to the eulogy very well composed by the Hon Member of Parliament who has succeeded the Hon Alhaji Abukari Sumani.
Hon Majority Leader, if you may please conclude, then we go on.
Mr Speaker, I am about concluding. So, it is with a great heart that I also join ranks to pay tribute to this noble man of this country. May Allah grant him eternal peace and may God his Creator provide solace to the family that he has left behind.
Thank you very much. Indeed, may he rest in perfect peace. If Hon Members would -- let us all stand and give our Hon Colleague and Friend, a one-minute silence of respect.
May the remains of our late brother and former Hon Colleague and those of all the faithfully departed rest in perfect peace. Amen. Hon Members, we would move on at this stage, in the way I had early on indicated, to item numbered 6 on the Order Paper. If we would vary the Standing Orders slightly. In fact, upon consideration, we would take item numbered 6 on the Order Paper. We would work on this item so that relevant Papers may be made available and distributed to Hon Members if they are available. Item numbered 6 -- Presentation of Papers. Report of the Committee on Consti- tutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017. Is it ready for distribution?
Mr Speaker, I would want to crave your indulgence to have this stood down. I believe that we could take it --
Is it not ready?
We could take it next week Tuesday.
If it is not ready, I would move on to item numbered 9 -- Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 -- Consideration Stage.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, we have three Questions slated; the Hon Deputy Minister has been sent here by the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways. Since they are consti- tuency specific, I believe that you can spend about 10 minutes to deal with them.
Hon Majority Leader, from what we had early on discussed, is the Hon Chairman of the Committee available?
Mr Speaker, it is the Questions that I am referring to and we do not need the Hon Chairman for anything.
Are you talking about Question time?
Incidentally, I am also talking about Consideration Stage. [Pause] -- A harmonisation process is going on in view of the fact that the two Bills have similarities so that we do not have to go through the same difficulties again. So, as we wait for that we would go on with other businesses. Hon Majority Leader, you may indicate which business is ready to be taken.
Mr Speaker, as you have just added, the Development Authority Bills are mirror images of one another and because we have just gone through the Northern Development Authority Bill (NSAB) 2017, we indicated to ourselves that we wanted what we had done to be cleaned up properly so that when we come to dealing with the others, we would not waste time at all.
Mr Speaker, this explains why I made an application to you for us to deal with the Questions. So, if we could go to Question time, then, we could deal with that and perhaps, start with the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 and see where we could get to.
Hon Majority Leader, when we start, it may defeat the very issue we are sharing now. So, we may wait as well so that when the harmonisation is done and the cleaning up is completed then we would simply move with dispatch and compare the previous with the present. So, please, let us go on with the Questions. Do we have the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways here?
Mr Speaker, as I indicated, the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways has designated the Hon Deputy Minister, Hon Kwabena Owusu- Aduomi, to stand in his stead.
Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, please, take a seat. Hon Member for Hohoe, you may ask your Question. These are constituency specific Questions, so, the Hon Members asking the Questions would be the only ones allowed to do so.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF ROADS AND
Mr Speaker, I would want to begin by saying that people along the road are looking at a state of urgency but looking at the Report it looks like business as usual where we have to wait for rationalisation, study and so on. I would want to know the status of the COCOBOD rationalisation exercise and how quickly these roads could be fixed. This is because, people are dying, trucks are stuck on the road and economic activities along the eastern corridor are almost coming to a standstill. I would want to know the urgency with which the Ministry would want to tackle these issues.
Mr Speaker, I did some few checks when we put up the Answers for these Questions and what I had learnt from COCOBOD and the consultants who are doing the works is that they had gone to all the Regions and last week they completed the last Region which was the Volta region. The consultants have so far submitted two Reports; Western Region and Brong Ahafo Region reports to COCOBOD. I have been told that the remaining would be submitted to COCOBOD by the end of this month; October, 2017. Mr Speaker, it is upon the submission of the Consultant's Report to COCOBOD, that COCOBOD would sit on and decide what to do on this ongoing project. These projects are not financed by the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
They are not directly under us; they are under the COCOBOD. They have been financing it. Therefore, they would decide what to do with these projects before they sit with us afterwards and decide whether they would continue or not. I would not be able to say that. COCOBOD would have to first look at the Report that the consultant would submit to them. They would go through them and decide on what to do with these projects.
Mr Speaker, the first part of the road, which is from Asikuma Junction to Adzokoe is under the Government of Ghana (GoG). So, I would like the Hon Deputy Minister to tell us what the Ministry intends to do to complete that stretch of the road. The first part is under the GoG, who is the employer. What about that one?
Mr Speaker, it is indicated that the contractor is on site, and with the first portion from Asikuma Junction to Have, the contractor is at the site working. It is possible that the contractor might be facing some problems with funding, but the contractor is working. As to when it would be completed, it would depend on how payments are made to the contractor. But works are ongoing.
Your last question, Hon (Dr) Heloo.
Mr Speaker, I would want to state that the contractor is not on site. I travel on that road. Work is not going on, so, I would want the Hon Minister to verify. This is because, the road is the nerve centre of the region. The Eastern Corridor Mr Speaker, it was a campaign promise, and the Hon Minister attested to during the vetting, that, when they are appointed
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Member is being too emotional in bringing in this. But if I were to reply her, I would want her to go through the Answer provided and look at the time that the project was awarded. The project was awarded on 29th September, 2011. [Uproar!] It started on 5th December, 2011. So, I do not believe the blame should be on the present Government and that the Government used it for politics and whatever.
Order! Hon Member for Bia East?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Having said all that, it is important --
Hon (Dr) Heloo, you have asked your three supplementary questions. Hon Member for Bia East, your Question, please? Nkrankwanta to Adabokrom Road (Completion) Q.106. Mr Richard Acheampong asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Nkrankwata to Adabokrom road would be completed
The Nkrankwanta- Adabokrom road is 21.3km long. It links the Dormaa West District Capital of Nkrankwanta in the Brong Ahafo Region to the Bia East District capital of Adabokrom in the Western Region. Current programme A contract was awarded for the upgrading of Nkrankwanta - Adabokrom road km (0.0- 10.0) on 18th February, 2016. Works commenced on 20th April, 2016 for completion by 19th October, 2017. This project covers the Brong Ahafo Region section of the road. The project is being financed by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and is currently estimated at 39 per cent physical completion. When completed, the road will have a bituminous surfacing. COCOBOD has since May, 2017 directed 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. The Contractor has accordingly suspended work. Future programme Engineering design studies have been conducted on the remaining 11.3km stretch to Adabokrom for upgrading when funds become available.
Mr Speaker, in the last part of the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer, he indicated that they have a future programme on that road. I just would want to find out the current intervention the Ministry is putting in place to make the road accessible.
Mr Speaker, a routine maintenance programme has been scheduled on that stretch which has poor surface, and I believe after the rains, the contractor would start work and make all the necessary maintenance work to make it motorable.
Mr Speaker, I have pictorial evidence to show to the Hon Deputy Minister. Maybe, it has been a long time he plied that section of the road. Mr Speaker, I just would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister; Government has purchased and sealed some cocoa in that area; how can government transport that cocoa to Tema? Mr Speaker, the O. A. Travel and Tours and the V.I.P. buses that ply that section of the road have stopped going to Adabokrom because of the bad nature of the road. These are the pictures to show that we are completely cut off. So, if he is saying it would be after the rainy season or when funds are made available, must we die before Government raises funds to complete that section of the road?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member would agree with me that, this defence that he showed us did not develop from 6th January, 2017. [Uproar.] It is a defect that had been there when they were in government. Mr Speaker, what we can do is to maintain the road while we prepare for the upgrading contract. These are ordinary potholes; potholes that can be patched. What I saw were pot- holes, and pot-holes could be patched. If there are gravel sections that are severely corrugated or there are depressions, depressions could be patched with gravel. They could be graded and made motorable.
Order! Hon Member, you may continue.
Mr Speaker, the contractor on site working on that stretch of the road was ready to fund the project, but they suspended the project saying till funds are made available. If they do not have money, the contractor has the money to undertake the project. [Interruptions.]
Hon Members, order!
Mr Speaker, even the extent of work done on that stretch of the road is deteriorating. So, if the contract is awarded today, they will pay more. Why can they not allow the contractor to continue with the work -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, may I know from the Hon Minister why the Ministry cannot allow the contractor to continue with the work he was doing?
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Member has gone through the Answer. We have indicated that the project is financed by COCOBOD, but because of the number of projects that were awarded and the amount of moneys that they were to be paid, we decided to visit all the COCOBOD funded projects and assess them and decide on what to do. So, the Ministry will not be able to instruct COCOBOD to let them go on and do their work. I have indicated already when I answered the first Question from the Hon Member, that after the rationalising, COCOBOD would decide on what to do with the project. Mr Speaker, it is not the Ministry that would have to instruct COCOBOD to ask the contractors to go back to work. It is COCOBOD that has got the power to ask them to continue because it is funding the project. Mr Speaker, since the consultants have finished their field audit works and submitted report to COCOBOD, I believe very soon, the contractor would be asked to go to the site to work. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Richard Acheampong, your Question starred 107. Completion of construction of Adabokrom town roads Mr R. Acheampong asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction of the Adabokrom Town roads and the Adobokrom to Akwabeng- krom road would be completed.
Hon Deputy Minister, did you get him?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Background Mr Speaker, there is no existing contract to upgrade Adabokrom Town roads. The main road through Adabokrom town forms part of the Debiso to Adabokrom feeder road (25.1km) which was awarded in August 2008, under the Cocoa Roads Improvement Project (CRIP) for Upgrading to bituminous surfacing. It was completed in August 2010. Another section of the Adabokrom town roads falls within the Adabokrom to Akwarbengkrom feeder road which has been awarded on contract under the COCOBOD funded projects for bituminous surfacing in the Western Region. Mr Speaker, the 10.0km Adabokrom- Akwarbengkrom road forms part of the Adabokrom-Adiembra inter-district connector between the Bia East and Dormaa West districts in the Western and Brong-Ahafo Regions respectively. It is in poor surface condition. Current programme The contract for the upgrading of Adabokrom-Akwarbengkrom road to bituminous surfacing was awarded in October, 2015. Works commenced on 5th February, 2016 for completion by 4th February, 2017. The contractual completion date has expired. Progress of works has been slow due to delays in payments of work done. The scope of works comprises clearing of road side vegetation, construction of culverts and concrete U-drains, filling of culverts approaches, laying of sub-base and base courses, bituminous surfacing and road signs and line markings. The contract is being financed by the Ghana Cocoa Board and is currently estimated at 34 per cent physical completion. Work done includes the provision of a 10.0km base course and primerseal of the section between km (0.7 - 4.7), that is, 4.0km. The completion of this project will depend on how timeous payments are made for work done. Future programme Engineering design studies for upgrading of Adabokrom Town roads will be conducted in the second quarter of 2018.
Mr Speaker, looking at the Answer provided by the Hon Minister, the second paragraph of the Answer is not correct. The Hon Minister said that the 25.1 km road --
Hon Member, ask the Hon Deputy Minister a question.
Mr Speaker, is the Hon Deputy Minister aware that from Debiso to Gyisewubre, the road is not completed?
Mr Speaker, the Debiso portion of the road that the Hon Member is talking of is not part of the Question. He asked of town roads in Adabokrom. The first three paragraphs of the Answer tried to indicate the main feeder roads that pass through the town. I wanted to indicate to him the portions of the feeder roads in the town. His Question is not about Debiso to Adabokrom. That was not the Question. We tried to show to him that those feeder roads pass through Adabokrom, and we tried to let him know the state. So, I would not know whether the question he asked has been answered. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Member, ask a question.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister, what necessitated the delay in payment of the contract awarded. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, COCOBOD is funding the project. If the Hon Member would want to know, I would want to inform him that by the close of December, 2016, the projects that COCOBOD awarded exceeded their actual budget for payment of roads. That is the reason most of the COCOBOD projects were not paid for. Mr Speaker, since January, 2017, COCOBOD has not awarded a single project. These are projects that were carried over from 2016. Therefore, if payments were not done, it was because COCOBOD bit more than it could chew. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Member, please your final supplementary question.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. In as much as I have taken a cue from our direction, I would want to put on record that, the information provided --
Hon Member, ask a question, otherwise, you would be out of order. If you have finished, you may please sit down. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister the intervention that he is putting in place to address the situation before funds are made available to award the contract as he said.
Mr Speaker, it will be very difficult for me to give the Hon Member an intervention. The project is financed by COCOBOD, so we are waiting for COCOBOD to finish with the rationalisation and I believe they would sit down with the Ministry of Roads and Highways for us to know what they want to do with these projects. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you, Hon Deputy Minister for attending upon the House and answering our Questions. You are discharged.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the Table Office was going to assist in determining the kind of reconciliation that they have been able to do before proceeding on the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017. Mr Speaker, however, the very first few clauses, especially relating to the establishment of the Authority, the object of the Authority and the functions of the Authority are non-controversial, and so I believe we can deal with these three, and then take an adjournment.
Hon Majority Leader, you may so indicate, then it would be read. Hon Members, item numbered 9 on the Order Paper -- Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 at the Considerations Stage. Hon Majority Leader, if you could indicate the relevant clauses which can be tackled.
Mr Speaker, as you said, we can begin with clause 1, then we would, at least, deal with clauses 2 and 3. Mr Speaker, with the clause 1 (a), we had just the insertion of the word “a” before “hindrance” and this would be led by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
BILLS - CONSIDERATION STAGE
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I beg to move; clause 1, subclause 3, insert --
Mr Speaker, before we get to clause 1, subclause (3), there was one that we did for clause 1, subclause (2), which reads: “The Authority may, for the perfor- mance of the functions of the Authority…”
“its” in line one, and in its place, we substituted “The Authority”.
“The Authority may, for the performance of the functions of the Authority, acquire and hold movable and immovable property, dispose of property and enter into any contract or any other transaction relating to the object of the Authority”. Mr Speaker, I therefore, move for the reconfiguration of clause 1, subclause (2).
Mr Speaker, I associate myself with the proposal made by the Hon Majority Leader. Indeed, that is what we had done to the earlier Bill.
Hon Members, any further contribution? Question put and amendment agreed to.
Clause 2 (ii)?
Mr Speaker, I am on clause 1, subclause (3).
All right, Hon Chairman, you are on clause 1, subclause 3, so, you may continue.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 1, subclause (3), before “hindrance” insert “a”.
“Where there is a hindrance to the acquisition of property, the property may be acquired for the Authority under the State Lands Act, 1962 (Act 125)”. Mr Speaker, there is a further amendment on clause 1, subclause 3 --
Hon Chairman, allow me to put the Question on the first one first. Question put and amendment agreed to. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, further amendment to subclause 3 of clause 1. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, subclause 3, after the State Lands Act 1962(Act 125) and, insert State Property and Contract Act 1960 CA 6. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I associate myself with the amendment proposed presently, save to say that, where an Act is cited, for instance, State Property and Contract Act 1960, then there would be a comma. Mr Speaker, humbly, that is missing. So, if the Committee would add the number of the Act, so that the amendment would be carried.
Every Act has a number.
Yes, Mr Speaker. So 1960, Act ABC. Before the CA 1960 would come.
Table Office, ensure that it is captured in full, the entire title of every Act. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman, have you finished with clause 1? Hon Members, kindly note exactly what we are doing now. We have got an Order Paper Addendum distributed. This is done in the face of all the previous amendments already made. Therefore, we are operating on the Addendum. Hon Majority Leader, is that the case so that we are all clear?
Yes, Mr Speaker, just to remind us that the other day when we came to deal with this, we asked for a scrutiny of the pieces of the legislation that we had done to assure ourselves about the relevance of the State Property and Contract Act, 1960, (CA 6) before we inserted it. Our attention is being drawn to the fact that it has been repealed by the State Lands Act 1962, Act 125. So, it is no longer relevant. Mr Speaker, I insisted that we should be very cautious about this. So for the time being, let us flag it, do a double check and if it has indeed been repealed, it does not find expression in what we have done. Mr Speaker, that is a caution that I would give.
Mr Speaker, I associate myself with the submission by the Hon Majority Leader save to say that when an Act is repealed, it certainly would be replaced by a new Act. So, I am sure that it is the Act that has repealed the CA 6 that we must operate with. So, the Committee should advert its mind to the Act that repealed the CA 6 in question so that we operate with that one.
Mr Speaker, the repeal Act is what I have quoted -- State Lands Act, 1962, (Act 125).
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader had suggested earlier that we flag this and then do a double check and let the House know. I support that.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, can we put the Question on clause 1 as a whole?
Mr Speaker, I have seen an Hon Member on his feet. I believe he wants to support something so, if he can be recognised.
Hon Member, please proceed.
Mr Speaker, it is just to supply information to the House. The State Property and Contract Act of 1960 (CA 6) was repealed in Sections 4 to 18. It appears to me that it is not the whole Act that was repealed. It was repealed by the State Lands Act, Section 9 and it says that: “Sections 4 to 18 of the State Property and Contract Act, 1960 CA 6 in so far as they relate to land, shall cease to have effect.” That is what is contained in there.
Very well. Can that be dealt with as part of our check?
Mr Speaker, I believe the import of his own intervention is the point that I made earlier, but we would be guided by the repeal as done by the State Lands Act, 1962, (Act 125). So, we would flag it and see the relevance of maybe capturing it in some other form. So, we can proceed, Mr Speaker.
Hon Chairman, can we put the Question on clause 1 as a whole or we have some more?
Mr Speaker, subject to the fact that we would have to double check and bring the final --
We always do that in collaboration with the draftsperson. It does not really stop the process. Hon Chairman of the Committee, can we put the Question on the entire clause or do you have anything else on clause 1?
No, Mr Speaker.
Then I would put the Question. Since we have a check to be made, we would defer putting the Question on the clause as a whole. Clause 2 -- Objects of the Authority
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 2, paragraph (c) (ii), delete and insert the following: “Private sector investments achieve maximum development impacts to reduce poverty and depravation in every part of the Zone.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman, anymore amendmenrs?
No, Mr Speaker, that is all on clause 2. Clause 2 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 3 -- Functions of the Authority
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, opening phrase, line 1, delete “short term and long term plans” and insert “Object of the Authority”.
Mr Speaker, just a minor further amendment to pluralise the word “Object” to “Objects”. So, it would read, “Objects of the Authority”, so that it would be in conformity with the headnote of clause 2. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Any further, Hon Chairman?
Clause 3 --
Is it on the same clause?
That is so. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (c), line 1, delete “and institutions”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (h), line 1, delete “execute identified” and insert “the execution of”.
Mr Speaker, if we delete “execute identified” and insert the proposal by the Hon Chairman and introduce “the execution of”, it would not make any grammatical sense. “For the realisation of the Object of the Authority, the Authority shall (h) the execution of …” It does not make any grammatical sense.
Mr Speaker, we wish to make further correction.
You may continue, Hon Chairman.
Mr Speaker, I will take the amendment of clause 3 (h) again. Delete “execute identified” and insert “cause the execution of”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Any further amendment on clause 3?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (m), line 3, after “Agencies” insert “Regional Co- ordinating Councils,” and in line 5, after “plan”, insert “and”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Any further amendment?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, paragraph (o), line 3, delete—
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, just to revisit the issue that I raised earlier in respect of paragraph (m); “…to cooperate with key statutory institutions including the National Development Commission.” Mr Speaker, I still would want us to look at that because Ministries, Departments, Agencies and District Assemblies are not institutions; they are statutory bodies. So, we should be careful with how we are lumping the two together. I thought that when I made the intervention earlier, the Table Office assisted in breaking that construction into two to have the statutory institutions captured; that includes the National Development Commission. Then we have a subclause (2) of paragraph (m) that would then deal with the Ministries, Departments, Agencies and District Assemblies, and perhaps, the Regional Coordinating Councils as the Hon Chairman has added so we have a distinction. Also this is to remind us that, we further amended the last line to insert the word, ‘and' to avoid duplication of functions. So, I am just reminding the Hon Chairman that, that is exactly what we did.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, flowing from the submission of the Hon Majority Leader, my humble view is that we should rather amend the clause in question to read; “cooperate with key statutory bodies and institutions”. Then it would take care of the bodies, the institutions and the statutory bodies that have been captured in the sentence, so that we would not have to balkanise the sentence any further. Humbly submitted.
Hon Chairman, are you agreeable?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Thank you very much. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman, any further amendment?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause (3), paragraph (o), line 3, delete “initiate” and insert “facilitate”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman, any further amendment to clause (3)? Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I guess there is one other amendment that escaped the Table Office. In the last but one line, we said, “facilitate public-private partnership initiatives”. We inserted the ‘initiatives' directly in the Northern Development Zone.
Thank you. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (p), line 2, after “targets” insert “are met” and also delete “met” and insert “achieved”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, still on clause (3).
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause (3), paragraph (q), line 3, delete “and” and insert “to”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (r), delete. Question put and amendment agreed to.
That is by the way of the withdrawal.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3 paragraph (s), delete. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman, anymore?
Mr Speaker, you have not put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 3 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
All right. Clause 3 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I think we are very much ad idem on the composition of the Governing Board of the Authority. So, if we can take that as the last one, then we could adjourn.
Hon Chairman, can we deal with that? Would that bring us to the end of the Consideration Stage for today?
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage for today. Hon Majority Leader, any further indication?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, I thought the further indication was that we would deal with only clause 4, but it looks like --
We have concluded that one and ended the Consideration Stage. What I asked was whether there is any other matter.
Mr Speaker, we have not dealt with clause 4, we only dealt with clause 3.
Hon Chairman of the Committee? Clause 4 -- Governing body of the Authority.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (a), delete “nominated by the President”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, is there anything else on clause 4?
Mr Speaker, yes, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (c), line 1, after “representative” insert “each”, and also delete “in the Middle Belt Development Zone” and in line 2, before “Regional” insert“respective”.
“one representative each of traditional authorities nominated by the respective Regional Houses of Chiefs in the Middle Belt Development Zone”.
Mr Speaker, humbly, the amendment which was proposed by the Hon Chairman of the Committee, would create difficulties because it has to be, “one representative of each of the traditional Houses of Chiefs”. So, the new rendition would be: “one representative of each of the Regional Houses of Chiefs”.
Mr Speaker, I believe the further amendment which was proposed in line 2, where the Hon Member seeks to repeat the word “each” before the words “Regional House of Chiefs” -- Yesterday, we agreed on the word “respect” and in line 1, we agreed on the words “one representative each of the traditional authorities in the Middle Belt Zone nominated by the respective Regional House of Chiefs”. Mr Speaker, that was the rendition that we agreed on in the case of the Northern Development Authority Bill. So, I would want to propose that for purposes of consistency, we should stick to the earlier agreement.
Mr Speaker, earlier, I had proposed that the new rendition would be: “one representative each of the respective Regional Houses of Chiefs in the Middle Belt Develop- ment Zone”.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, is it in line with what we earlier did?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, unless there is the need for any deviation, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), para- graph (d), line 1, delete “of” and insert “responsible for”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), add the following new paragraph: “(e) “one person from the Ministry responsible for Special Develop- ment Initiatives”.
Mr Speaker, if we look at clause 4 (1), paragraph (d), it specifies the rank of the representative. Mr Speaker, with respect, I would want to move an additional amendment so that it would read: “one person above the rank of a Director from the Ministry responsible for Special Development Initiative”. It is to make it consistent with the other provisions.
Hon Member, the rank of the person to be nominated -- That is all.
Mr Speaker, yes, but not below the rank of a Director.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, the Hon Member simply said that there was a fuller description in terms of the rank of the person who is to be nominated which he would want to capture. Hon Member, is that not so?
Mr Speaker, that is so. This is so that it would be consistent with the other provision.
Yes, that is present in all the laws.
Mr Speaker, I am referring to the amendment the Chairman has just moved -- clause (e).
The rank or status of the person to be so nominated on the Board -- Of course, that was well captured; clearly so.
Mr Speaker, I have skipped clause (d) and I would want to go back and move it with your permission. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (d), line 1, delete “of” and insert “responsible for”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I now come to clause (e). Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), add the following new paragraph: “(e) one person from the Ministry responsible for Special Develop- ment Initiatives” The new rendition would be: “one person from the Ministry responsible for special develop- ment initiatives not below the rank of a Director;” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), para- graph (h), line 1, delete “six” and insert “three” and line 2, delete “two of whom are” and insert “one of whom is”. The new rendition would be: “three persons with the relevant professional expertise nominated by the President one of whom is a woman.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the whole subclause 3 be deleted. Mr Speaker, in the earlier Bill, we deleted subclause 3 and introduced another one. I am still not comfortable and I would still want us to give it a consideration and have subclause 3 deleted. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, after exhausting deliberations yesterday, we agreed that, a new clause be inserted. That new clause was to ensure that there were at least two women on the Board. I believe it was a useful compromise and a useful decision, so, it should be maintained. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I am reporting what the Committee has said. The Committee had agreed that there is no limitation as to representation of women so far as the Board is concerned. Almost all the positions could be occupied by women. So, the representation of women is guaranteed and I believe that we still have to maintain what we have in the Act. Mr Speaker, the other terms of saying “at least two of” is a repetition and we have already considered that the three appointments made by the President under clause (h), one of them should at least be a woman. It does not stop any of the appointments that would be made by the President to be represented by a woman. So, I am still not comfortable with the proposal that is being made by the Hon Ranking Member.
Mr Speaker, you rightly guided us yesterday to come to this compromise that, that particular clause would guarantee that we may have a minimum of two ladies on the Board. It took a long time for us to come to that conclusion. I believe there is no reason for us to try to reinvent the wheel on this particular one. Let us just do the same thing. in any case, the Northern Development Zone has three regions in there, and the Middle Belt also has three regions and so the features are the same. I see no reason why we cannot maintain the same clause in this particular development zone. Mr Speaker, so, I would plead with the Chairman of the Committee to revisit that. Having a standard which says that we guarantee at least two women to be on the Board is not fatal at all. Let us just look at that and allow it. I am pleading with the Hon Chairman of the Committee to not just drag us too far.
Mr Speaker, I want to be consistent. Indeed, I understand and appreciate the principle being espoused by the Hon Colleagues who are insistent that we should have the number to appreciate the issue. Mr Speaker, in my view, we are derogating from the responsibility and indeed, the obligation imposed on the President by article 296. The President is required to be fair and candid in the composition of the entire body so that from clause (a) to (h) of the appointments, the President must consider the gender balance -- We should not only restrict ourselves to clause (h). Mr Speaker, as I said, when the word “two” was mentioned, we related it to “six”; now we are dealing with a figure of three. It would be most disproportionate to say that two out of three should be women only in that clause. So, I believe that we should leave it to the President and hope that by what deliberation is going on here, he should be guided by article 296 of the Constitution. That is a more burdensome obligation by just restricting ourselves to it. I would want to be consistent; it is the only reason I do not believe that we have to impose any additional burden on the President. Let him be guided by article 296. I do not believe, where the President is subject to making three appointments, we should impose an obligation on him that, necessarily, at least, two should be women. I do not see this construction in any of the Bills that we have made at all.
Mr Speaker, I would have supported the Hon Majority Leader's position if the logic went through the whole article. If we are saying that at least one should be a woman, are we then saying that if we leave the President alone, the Constitutional provision will not work? If we are comfortable to say, at least, one should be a woman, then we should be comfortable to say that they should be a minimum of two on the Board. If we are deleting, then we should also remove the “at least one woman”. If we cannot give the President that open catch, then, to ensure that at least two women are on the Board, let us maintain what we agreed on yesterday; unless there is a very compelling reason to revisit it.
Hon Members, I think we shall stand that aspect down so that we can deal with it later. This is just so that we can make progress. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, there is no further amendment on clause 4. That is all.
We would deal therefore with the outstanding matter later and then put the Question on the entire clause. Hon Majority Leader, at this stage, maybe, we can end proceedings and by the time we come back, this and all other matters would have been more neatly listed for us to proceed.
Mr Speaker, in that case, you can put the Question on those subclauses that we have done excluding the new clause.
Very well. Then I will put the Question on the other amendments. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Majority Leader, can we have a Motion to close? I hope that, next time, we would have had all these neatly done on the list. [Pause.] Hon Majority Leader, I am expecting your Motion for adjournment.
Mr Speaker, today is Friday. Let me express my acknowledgement and appreciation to Hon Members for what we have been able to achieve for the day. I hope and trust that on Tuesday, we would be able to deal with the remaining clauses expeditiously as possible. Mr Speaker, on that note, may I move that this House stands adjourned until Tuesday, 17th October, 2017, at 12.00 noon.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Very well. Question put and Motion agreed to.