MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon Member, continue.
Mr Speaker, when we go to Ejura Market and say that we want a size five (5) bag of maize to buy, the prices would be the same. When they are put on the scale, it would be surprising to note that even though the bags are the same, the bags may be older and would have expanded. So, when the women go to buy, they look for the older bags of maize, because those bags would have expanded and they would have more maize. Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the type of maize that is sold in the bag is not considered. Some of the maize may be of large sizes and others may be of very small sizes. Quality in this case is not considered in selling the produce. Mr Speaker, it is something that the current Ministry of Agriculture is working at. If we go to the Ministry, there is an agent called National Food Buffer Stock (NAFCO) that works under the Ministry of Agriculture. NAFCO is replacing the former Ghana Food Distribution Company. Wherever NAFCO is involved in the marketing of any agricultural produce, of course, standard sizes are used. So, NAFCO markets all its agricultural produce based on the standards that have been established. Mr Speaker, maize, for example, is supposed to be sold for 100 kilogrammes. It is the same for beans. Whether it is white beans or red beans, it is supposed to be sold for 100 kilogrammes per bag. The same applies to peanuts. It is only in some of our market centres that these number four (4) and five (5) sizes are used. Mr Speaker, I would want to assure the public that, some work has already been started to coach and train all the market women to toe the line of NAFCO. This is because NAFCO is trying to standardise all produce when they are sent to the market. Wherever they are sold, the standard sizes are supposed to be used. Mr Speaker, the only challenge here is that, it is very difficult to find people who can train these women. The reason is that, in the last seven or eight years, no extension officers have been hired to do any work. This training can easily be done by extension officers at the farm gates and at the district levels. The main challenge is that we do not have the extension officers. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who made the Statement mentioned that all the farming processes are done in a standardised manner. Spraying is done per acre or hectare, seeds are sown per acre or hectare and harvesting is done in the same way. But who is there to ensure that the standardisation is enforced? Mr Speaker, now, I would want the Hon Member who made the Statement to know that when we go to the fields, planting per acre or hectare, we do not find the standard planting materials or the planting population thereis. This is because extension officers are not readily available. Mr Speaker, for the “Planting for Food and Jobs Project,” for example, some of us had to become extension officers. We went to the field, bought a certain quantity of seeds and we expected that the farmer would use that quantity of seeds and plant in a certain planting distance to get the population. Unfortunately, we got there and that was not done. So, most of us went to the field to ensure that it was done. The reason was that extension officers are not readily available. Mr Speaker, on this Statement, the key thing that I would want to draw our attention to is that the attention of the Government must be focused on extension
I thought the arrangement was that, I should take one from the Minority side and one from the Majority side. Hon Asafu-Adjei, you are from the Majority side, so, I cannot recognise you.
Mr Speaker, first of all, let me commend the Hon Member who made the Statement because this is one area in which as a country, we have not made sufficient efforts. The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and farmers groups, for a long time, should have agitated for this because we went metric in 1974. Is that not the case? [Interruption.]
Very well, that is the end of contributions to this Statement. There are two Statements both commemorating the Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The first one is in the joint names of Hon Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and Hon Dr Bernard Okoe Boye. Which of the two would read the Statement?
Thank you, Mr Speaker --
There are two Hon Members. One is not here. It is the other who has to read. Who are you? Are you Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings?
Mr Speaker, my name is Hon Dr Robert Baba Kuganab- Lem. I read on behalf of Hon Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and Hon Dr Bernard Okoe Boye.
When Dr Okoe Boye is in the Chamber, why should you read on his behalf?
Mr Speaker, the Statement was tabled through the Minority side. It is for this matter that Hon Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings has asked me --
Hon Okoe Boye, can I hear from you why an Hon Member should read your Statement while you are here?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, the arrangement was for Hon Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings to read so that I come in with some oral contributions. So, when she mentioned that she would not be present -- I did not actually know that the Majority also had another Statement from my Brother Hon Andah. So, that was why we made the initial arrangement.
Very well. I do not think Statements are admitted in terms of Minority and Majority. It is personal to the Hon Member making it. If I admit him to make it, there is no guarantee that you would make a contribution, let me assure you. Very well, Hon Member, you may read the Statement on behalf of them. Breast Cancer Awareness Month Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem (on behalf of Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and Dr Bernard Okoe Boye): Mr Speaker, the month of October is celebrated as the breast cancer awareness month. The month was designated for this purpose in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries. The month is used to promote awareness about breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Breast cancer is a disease condition in which the breast tissue becomes cancerous and begin to grow out of control. Some signs and symptoms of the condition include a breast lump, lump in the armpit, change in colour of breast skin, bloody nipple discharge, and disoriented nipple position. Mr Speaker, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a total of two thousand Ghanaian women were diagnosed in 2012 with breast cancer. Fifty per cent of these women, that is one thousand women, died of the disease. When detected early, breast cancer can be cured. Late detection often leads to disheartening poor quality of life and eventually death. Early detection and appropriate treatment is the key to increasing survival in breast cancer cases. All women must check their breasts regularly, and we encourage their husbands to acquaint themselves with their wives' breasts as well, the reason being that they will be the first to notice any changes in the breast. It often helps to check the breasts around the same time of the menstrual cycle in order to have some uniformity. This is because the breasts might change slightly depending on the woman's cycle, becoming more lumpy at times. For the sake of consistency, it is easier to pick a specific time and stick with it. Another important aspect of the breast check is to check the armpits as well, because most of the lymphnodes in the armpits drain the breasts. It is noteworthy that men can get breast cancer as well, soinas much as we seek to raise the awareness of women, there will be a need for a few men who could also get breast cancer so men check their pectorals muscles too. To be specific, the area around the nipple and areola as men have very little breast tissue compared to women. Mr Speaker, babies need their mothers' breasts, the mothers themselves need their breasts for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons; two of the many reasons why the breast deserves attention. It is sad when due to poor early detection mechanisms the breast that gives life is made to become the taker of life. I would appeal to the media to take advantage of the month of October to help us educate as many people as possible about breast cancer and how to do breast checks. Thank you.
There is another Statement commemorating the same month, standing in the name of Hon George Kojo Nenyi Andah. You may read your Statement now. Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement in celebration of the Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer originates in the cells of the breast, and when these cells behave or grow abnormally, they can develop into cancerous tumours. The main cause individuals develop breast cancer is because their breast cells are exposed to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Hormones, especially estrogen, are linked with breast cancer and encourage the growth of some breast cancers. A common misconception is the belief that breast cancer cannot occur in men. The incidence of male breast cancer is less common, but by virtue of the fact that men also have breast tissue, the condition does exist and must not be ignored. Africans, according to some studies, develop the cancer some 10 years to 15 years before Caucasian women, putting us at higher risk and therefore, in need of faster intervention. Breast cancer is increasingly becoming a medical condition of major concern. In Ghana, breast cancer prevalence seems to be increasing from 12.8 per cent in 1996 to15.4 per cent in 2007 -- per records at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that in 2012, there were 2,000 reported cases in Ghana. A staggering 50 per cent or 1,000 of those cases succumbed to the disease. Mr Speaker, over 70 per cent of all cases reported in the country are in the advanced stages, and this may be due to the lack of awareness on the issue; cost; lack of access to routine screening mammography; social stigma and or the preference of traditional healers over doctors. The situation of late detection often results in death due to the fact that symptoms are often ignored or unknown by individuals until the disease has fully metastasized (spread). The number of diagnosed cases increases annually, and there is an urgent need to focus attention on awareness, education and most importantly, routine screening, preferably mammography in order to drive early detection, treatment and ultimately, reducing the prevalence and mortality rates in our society. We should not sit by and allow breast cancer to continue tearing into us. Breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence, and our handicap in Ghana is early detection. The First Lady of the Republic, who recently launched the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign at the Karle-Bu Teaching Hospital, stated “if we are to make a headway in improving the sad outcomes of Ghanaians with breast cancer, we cannot ignore the twin pillars of options, which are early detection and effective treatment”. There are other known risk factors that increase the likelihood of women developing the disease. Age: Research shows that chances of developing the disease increases with age. The average age of women with the disease ranges between 50-69 with a lesser incidence in younger women. Family History: Women with close family relatives who have previously suffered the disease stand greater risk of developing the disease. Reproductive factors: A later age at first pregnancy, inability to conceive, early onset of menses, later age of menopause amongst others, can make one more susceptible to the disease. A number of lifestyle-related habits may limit, control and possibly, prevent the development of the disease. These include reduction or limit of alcohol, avoidance of smoking, controlling one's weight, being physically active, breast feeding, avoiding exposure to radiation and pollution, to name a few. Misinformation or general lack of education and inadequate testing facilities, in my opinion are the biggest challenge barring access to appropriate and timely medical care. Many women who develop the disease are recipients of inaccurate information, leading them to invest in methods that exacerbate the development of the disease. It is therefore important to commend organizations and individuals who invest their time and resources into educating the general public on the disease, how to self-screen, screen people for free, et cetera , all in the bid to halt the advancement of breast cancer. This year, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital has spearheaded a campaign that is targeted at helping people detect the presence of the disease at an early stage to assist in effective treatment. It is a commendable initiative as voluntary breast screening can help one detect the earliest stage of breast cancer where there is the absence of lumps and just calcium flecks that can be seen through a mammogram. Other partner health institutions include, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, 37 Military Hospital, Accra Regional Hospital, Nyaho Medical Centre, Ho Regional Hospital, Trust Hospital, Well Woman Clinic.
I would admit only one comment from either Side. So far, the Statements have been read by men so, I would admit only female contributors. I would start from the very young woman. I have not heard your voice before; let me hear it today.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made on Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Mr Speaker, the Statement clearly shows that early detection through screening is key to identifying cases of breast cancer. Unfortunately, there is no national policy to encourage women or females of twenty-five years and above to have their breasts screened. Mr Speaker, education on how to properly examine the breast in our homes is also lacking. Most men who try to assist also think they are doing the right thing, without actually knowing what to do or what to report on when they are called upon to tell what they have actually found. Mr Speaker -- [Interruption] -- I humbly suggest that a national policy be formulated to ensure that every female, twenty-five years or above, is encouraged to have the mammogram done at least every two years. This would help us to decrease or prevent cases. It would also help us to detect cases early for us to save our mothers, sisters and the country as a whole. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Hon Akua Afriyie?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Statement made by my Hon Colleagues on the Floor. I am grateful you have called two women. Men have breasts, but they do not have the breasts that we have. So we are grateful that for this particular topic you have called two women to contribute. Breast cancer is worrying to every human being, especially the men. It is worrying to us women. I would want to be very practical. I am not a doctor but I have seen people die out of this disease and seen their husbands cry terribly. It is not easy. The pain of breast cancer is worse than the pain a woman goes through during nine months of pregnancy. We see men who run helter skelter when their women go to the labour room. However, when a woman gets breast cancer she would go through pain throughout her life. Mr Speaker, women have complained about breast cancer over the years. Today is the 25th year of Breast Cancer Awareness creation and we are still talking about it.
Hon Member, should we just ask or we could --
Mr Speaker, when they ask, we would know that they care. However, when they do not ask, it means that they do not care. So the men here should join us, show some care, ask and touch --They would have to let their wives lie down, and teach them how to touch and check for lumps. They should come together with us to solve these problems. They should not leave it for the woman alone. Their interest is only in one thing. [Laughter.] They know where it is; that is why they are laughing. Aside the one thing, they are careless about other things. [Laughter.] When they are done with wherever they would touch and be satisfied, they leave everything for the woman. Mr Speaker, some of them are saying that after election, no campaign --
Hon Member, when we are contributing to a Statement, we should avoid controversy. The things men are interested in are very controversial.
Hon Buah wants to make an intervention.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member was making a very good point until she began to veer towards an area where, quite frankly, we had to interject. We are discussing breast cancer, an issue that is important and has devastated families. To imply in general terms that men somehow focus so much on one thing and that this is not an issue we care about -- I would want the Hon Member to withdraw and focus on the Statement. We are very interested in all aspects, especially breast cancer and its devastating effects on all of us. So, let us stay right there and leave all the other aspects.
Hon Member, stay out of controversy and let us focus on breast care.
Mr Speaker, we should focus on the symptoms and work together to ensure that, at least, we find a solution towards its prevention. Education is also key. When we go to the rural areas, our mothers who do not have any clue as to what breast cancer is sometimes would touch the breast and feel pain, but they would not know what it is. Inasmuch as we do it in the southern part of the country, we should also focus on other areas to ensure that we give maximum education to our women. I know that when we educate them, they would extend the education to other members of the family; gradually, even if something like that is there, it would be detected earlier so that it could be cured. Mr Speaker, thank you so much for this opportunity.
Hon Members, these two contributions are enough for the day.
The Leader wants to make a contribution; I would give her the benefit.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity, and I thank the Hon Members for these wonderful breast cancer Statements. Mr Speaker, paragraph 2 of the Statement says that breast cancer is a disease. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a total of 2000 Ghanaian women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Fifty per cent of these women, which is 1000 women, died of the disease. Paragraph 3 said that breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in Ghana. This is true because if we go to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital right now, lots of women are suffering from this disease. As my Hon Sisters said, married men should take it upon themselves to make sure they screen their women. It is their duty. They should make it their duty to screen their women. When a lot of these women get this disease, instead of going to the hospital, they run to churches. By the time they would say jack, they find themselves in difficult situations, and it becomes difficult for doctors to assist them. Breast cancer is curable now, and it is a disease that when one runs to the hospital on time, one could be attended to and be cured. Mr Speaker, I would want to urge all women, especially, those in the rural communities to get tested. The Hon Members of Parliament should make it a point to move down to the people and educate them. There are community nurses in the hospital, but we do not use them. We should engage them and send them to the people, so that they can educate the people at the grassroot level. Some of the women attribute the sickness to witchcraft which I see as ignorant. So we should beat the gong gong very well for the women to know that any time they see any lump in their breast, they should run to the hospital first, and not to churches. Mr Speaker, I would want to urge Hon Members of Parliament to use part of their Common Funds on this subject, so that the women who are not married can be assisted. With the married women, their husbands would take care of the screening for them, but what about the single women? We should focus on them and make sure that we liaise with the relevant institutions to educate them.
Hon Deputy Minority Whip, are you suggesting that Hon Members of Parliament should focus on the single women and take care of them?
Mr Speaker, with those who are married, their husbands could help them; but with those who are not married, we should assist. This is because a man should make it a point -- The breast, apart from feeding the baby -- one cannot stop feeding a man with the breast throughout his life. He could be killed. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, once it is an organ that the men need, they should take good care of it, and always make sure they examine it and tell the women whenever they detect something. Mr Speaker, what about the single women? We should use our monies on them. At least, 2 per cent of our Common Fund could be used to assist them. Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity.
Does the Majority front bench want to contribute to this Statement?
Mr Speaker, the agreement was that we would take one contribution from each Side of the aisle, and Leadership ceded their right to contribute to the Statement.
Very well. Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statements. At the Commencement of Public Business -- item numbered 6.
Mr Speaker, items numbered 6, 7 and 8 are not ready for the consideration of the House, so if we could take item numbered 9.
Very well. Hon Members, item numbered 9, Coastal Development Authority Bill, 2017 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (b), line 1, delete “and institutions”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (g), line 1, delete “execute identified” and insert “ cause the execution of”, and in line 3, before “agricultural” insert “the fishing industry,” and further in line 4, after “farmers” insert “and fishermen” and delete “irrigation”.
“cause the execution of relevant projects in a community of the Coastal Development Zone that will stimulate the modernisation of fishing industry, agricultural development and competitiveness of small scale farmers and fishermen through improved technology and promote efficiency for the domestic and export market;” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3 -- Paragraph (l), line 1, after “statutory”, insert “bodies and”, and in line 3, after “Agencies” insert “Regional Co-ordinating Councils,” and further in line 5, after “plan” insert “and”.
“co-operate with key statutory bodies and institutions including the National Development Planning Commission, Ministries, Depart- ments, Agencies, Regional Co- ordinating Councils, District Assemblies and other entities to ensure conformity with the national development plan and to avoid duplication of functions;” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (n), line 3, delete “initiate” and insert “facilitate”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (p), line 2, after “targets” insert “are met” and also delete “met” and insert “achieved”.
“establish a system of monitoring and evaluation to ensure that strategic targets are met and results are achieved in a timely and appropriate manner,”
Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, his rendition is not very clear. He says, “are met” — But we already have “met” there. So, is the Hon Chairman saying that we should insert “are met” and the results would change it from “met” to “achieve”? What is the meaning? There is a tidier way of doing it. Yes, and after that we would delete the rest of the things and then bring in exactly what he wants to say.
Mr Speaker, I would take it again. Mr Speaker, paragraph (p), line 2, after “targets”, insert “are met” and also delete “met” and insert “achieve”. So, the new rendition would read:
Hon Yieleh Chireh, is it clear now?
Mr Speaker, yes.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, item vi — clause 3.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move clause 3 paragraph (q), line 3, delete “and” and insert “to”.
“co-ordinate the planning and implementation of integrated development activities for the realisation of the short term to long term plans for the Coastal Development Zone;”
Mr Speaker, this matter came up when we dealt with the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017, and we said that we should replace “realised plans” with “realised objects”. So at this point, that should inform us not to go with the same rendition of the realisation of plans. So, I would move, that we adopt the amendment that we did to the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 with respect to this particular clause.
Hon Member, would you propose the specific amendment to make it easier for us?
Mr Speaker, I propose that we amend clause 3 to read as follows: “For the realisation of the object of the Authority, the Authority shall” That was what we did for the other one.
Hon Member, where are you now? We are amending clause 3, subclause (q). Hon Benjamin Kpodo, we are on subclause (q), so if we have gone past yours, then you would wait — So we would proceed with subclause (q). The only proposed amendment is to replace “and” in the beginning of the third line with “to”.
Mr Speaker, the issue is still there; we are talking about realisation of plans. It is still of concern. The word, “realised plans” does not fit in.
Can you be specific on the clause you are talking about? — [Pause] Mr Chireh — rose --
Hon Yieleh Chireh, your Hon Friend is still on his feet.
Mr Speaker, yes, but he is searching for where to read.
Mr Speaker, to answer the Hon Member for Wa West, we changed “and” to “to” to take account of “medium term” plans. So it is short term to long term. It is short and long term, it means we are not accounting for medium term plans. That was the reason it was changed to “to”.
Mr Speaker, I would want a further amendment to say, “short, medium and long term”, so that we do not omit any of the important terms.
Hon Chairman, the Hon Member for Wa West said that instead of saying “short to long term”, just repeat them; short term, medium term and long term”.
Mr Speaker, I believe the House agreed to this amendment when we did the Middle Belt Development Bill, 2017 and I would refer the Hon Member to the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 13th October, 2017, page 13, paragraph 13, and I beg to read: “Clause 3 — Amendment proposed — Paragraph (q), line 3, delete “and” and insert “to”. Mr Speaker, the Question was put and amendment was agreed to. The meaning to what the House agreed to was that, if we say “the short to long term”, it covers short term, medium term and long term. I guess that is the meaning and the House agreed to this. So, for consistency, I would pray that the Hon Member withdraws the amendment that he is counter-proposing.
Mr Speaker, the argument my Hon Friend is making is not too good. But if he is pleading with me to agree,— we could have made a mistake on the 13th October, 2017, in whatever we approved. This is because as a human institution, we overlooked something. If we send this to the court and somebody wants to indicate that in that same clause, we mean “medium” was implied, we do not imply things in law. We definitely state what we want the law to carry. If we say that “short to long term” means that medium term is in-between, well, I do not know which judge would agree with us. I would not agree if I were the judge; but once he says I should allow consistency, I allow it.
Mr Speaker, I would like to agree with my Hon Chairman that the short term to long term also implies medium term, and that is why he has even changed the rendition from “and” to “to”. So, I believe that the Hon Chairman is right.
Mr Speaker, if we are amending clause 3, subclause (q) to make it “short term to long term”, then let us look at the opening phrase of clause 3. We still have “short term and long term plans” — [Interruption.]
Hon Members, so can I put the Question now? [Pause] Hon Members, I thank you for your indulgence.
Hon Kpodo, I will come to you. The Clerk-at-the-Table has shown me what the issue is, but it is not specific to the question we are answering. So I would give you the opportunity after we have put the Question. It is general to all the clauses.
Mr Speaker, I would want to propose a further amendment to line 2 of clause 3 (q). I crave your indulgence to read the whole clause: “(q) co-ordinate the planning and implementation of integrated development activities for the implementation of the short to long term plans for the Coastal Development Zone;”
Sorry! Which clause are you referring to? Is it the clause we just voted upon?
Yes, Mr Speaker -- clause (q).
Sorry, I did not get your proposal. The Hon Chairman of the Committee and Hon Members should please pay attention so that we can synchronise our thoughts.
Mr Speaker, I was already on my feet to address that issue before you put the Question. Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that, because we have “plans” in line 3, it does not synchronise with “realisation” but rather with “implementation”. On the other hand, if we want to keep “realisation” there, then we should also change “plans” to “objects” as we did in the opening a clause of clause 3 and that would just be consequential amendment.
Hon Kpodo, do you know why I do not agree with you? You implement the “plans” to achieve the
Very well. So, it means that my proposal to change “realisation” to “implementation” fits very well with you.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, the Hon Kpodo is saying that in line 2 of clause (q), the use of the word “realisation” should change to “implementation”: So it would read; “... develop activities for the implementation of the short term to long term plans for the Coastal Development Zone;”
Mr Speaker, I believe there would be a repetition of the word “implementation” and that would be error of redundancy. We would have it then read as: “co-ordinate the planning and implementation of integrated development activities for the implementation of the short to long term” -- --and I do not think it sits well.
“Implemen- tation” is already used in the first line.
Mr Speaker, if that were so, then let us change “plans” to “objects” though it may be repetitive.
Mr Speaker, I do not agree with the Hon Kpodo because if we look at the paragraphs we are dealing with, they deal with specific issues. If we are talking about the major objective of clause 3, that is fine. But this clause is specific to clause 3 (q) and once we have already used “implementation” we can only be talking about “realisation” after we have implemented. And you implement to realise the goals of whatever you want. So the argument here is not about changing the word from “realisation” to “implementation”. Mr Speaker, these people are not really speaking implementers; they are only being guided in terms of plan execution. But if the Hon Member insists on getting the word changed, then we would change the whole meaning of this paragraph which would not be in conformity with the style that has been used in the drafting.
Hon Chairman of the Committee and Hon Chireh, I believe I am now understanding Hon Kpodo. How do you realise “plans”? You “implement” the “plan” to realise an objective but not to realise the “plan” -- I believe it is right to that extent. “Co-ordinate the planning and implementation of integrated development activities for the realisation of the short term and long term plans;” We have already said we are co- ordinating the planning and we are implementing an integrated development activity to achieve the plan again now. Hon Kpodo is right to the extent that we should use “short term to long term objectives”; I believe that would be the appropriate rendition.
Hon Members, having regard to the state of business of the House, I would direct that we Sit outside the regulation time.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw the attention of Hon Members to the fact that in the opening phrase of clause 3, we had amended that. What we said was that we should delete the “short and long term plans” and insert the words “objects of the Authority”. So the opening phrase will read: “For the realisation of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall ...” We have done that for the Northern Development Authority Bill, we have done that for the Middle Belt Authority Bill and we have also done same for the Coastal Belt Authority Bill. With the “implementation” that was proposed, if we should admit that, we would have used the word “implementation” twice. I pray if the Hon Member could withdraw the amendment, so we could proceed.
Mr Speaker, I believe it is a matter of verbose English that is worrying us. We have already indicated in the opening statement in clause 3 that everything we would do is aimed at realising the object of the authority. So, even repeating it in paragraph (q) becomes redundant. I believe that if we are having problems with whether it should be realisation and repetition of implementation, short term and long term plans and all that, why do we not delete completely this phrase. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, delete, “for the realisation of the short term and long term plans” completely. Then the entire paragraph (q) will read: “co-ordinate the planning and implementation of integrated development activities for the coastal development zone.” So, we should delete where that controversy is. This is because it is already captured in the opening paragraph of clause 3.
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Member to consider the full sentence. If I may go through paragraph (q), it will read: “For the realisation of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall (q) co-ordinate the planning and implementation of integrated development activities for the realisation of the short term to long term plans for the Coastal Development Zone;” Mr Speaker, I am not persuaded by the proposed amendment. I believe this is correct.
Mr Speaker, I support what the Hon Chairman of the Committee is saying because this paragraph (q) does not stand on its own. It flows from the opening sentence. So once that is already taken care of, I do not see why we should be worried about the rest within that same paragraph (q).
Hon Members, let us move on. If Hon Kpodo maintains his Motion for amendment, I will put that to a vote so that we proceed. So, Hon Member, you would want to repeat your proposed amendment, otherwise, the amendment to paragraph (q) has already been carried. So, propose a further amendment, then we could take a decision on that and proceed.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that clause 3, paragraph (q) reads: “For the realisation of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall” (q) co-ordinate the planning and implementation of integrated development activities for the Coastal Development Zone;”
Hon Member -- [Interruption.] Do you want to comment on that?
Mr Speaker, I would want to support his amendment in the sense that if we look at the clause, it starts with, “For the realisation of the objects…” So, there is no need using, “for the realisation” again in paragraph (q). So, I support the proposed amendment on the floor.
Hon Members, any contrary argument? [Interruption] -- Very well, the proposal is to further amend paragraph (q) in the terms as proposed by the Hon Kpodo. Question put and amendment negatived.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, it is nearly ten past 2.00 o'clock. We would go up to half past 2.00 o'clock. So, let us work as quickly as we can. Item numbered VII?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (r), delete
Hon Members, the Motion is that the whole paragraph (r) should be deleted. Yes, Hon Member for Okaikoi Central?
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Chairman of the Committee to give us some further understanding why this clause ought to be deleted entirely?
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee, why do you want the entire paragraph (r) to be deleted?.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee keeps repeating what he did in the other Bills. This is a completely different Bill. So, he should explain things to our satisfaction because this is to ensure that when one acquires somebody's land, he pays promptly. It has nothing to do with the Authority acquiring property so that he would say it was taken care of in other Bills. I do not see what it is also doing that we would want to delete. Would it spoil the law if we leave it? What is the main reason for deleting it?
Mr Speaker, may I refer the Hon Member to clause 1 of the Bill. It had actually referred to the State Lands Act that if the Authority has to acquire a property, they would have to do so under the existing law, which is Act 125. As part of that, compensations and everything are included in the law. So, there was no need for us to mention it here again.
Mr Speaker, I believe when we were considering the Northern and Middle Belt Development Authority Bills, these issues came up and we debated them for a very lengthy period of time. There are laws already governing when one acquires a property. So, if our Hon Colleagues could bear with us, it is becoming very repetitive of these things. We had this debate for a long time. There is a very good reason for the deletion and there is no need for us to actually repeat paragraphs (r) and (s) . So, Hon Colleagues who were here when we did the Northern Development Authority Bill could bear with us, maybe, we can make progress.
Very well. Hon Members, the proposal is that the entire paragraph (r) be deleted. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Item numbered viii?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (s), delete. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 3 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 4 -- Governing body of the Authority.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (c), line 1, after “representative” insert “each”, and also delete “in the Coastal 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 Coastal Development Zone.”
Hon Members, I would put the Question.
Mr Speaker, I am worried about the insertion of “each” because when we say traditional authorities in the Coastal Development Zone, “one each”, have we envisaged how many are nominated by the House of Chiefs? But this says “traditional authorities in the Coastal Development Zone.” There are so many Traditional Authorities. They are uncountable.
It cannot be uncountable. There is a record of all the Traditional Authorities in the respective Houses of Chiefs. So, they are countable. They are finite; they know them and they would nominate one person from each to be on the Authority's Board.
Mr Speaker, do we understand that if there are two regions in a Zone, only one would come from one region? If that is the understanding, then I would withdraw my concern.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to withdraw clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (d), line 1, delete “of” and insert “responsible for”. Mr Speaker, I beg to draw the attention of the House that even though we had amended earlier, I believe that we should leave it as it is. The original rendition is: “One person from the Ministry of Finance …” We were seeking to amend it to the Ministry responsible for Finance but I believe that is wrong. If we had said that the Minister responsible for Finance then that is a different thing. Mr Speaker, so, I seek to withdraw the amendment that is being proposed and leave it as it is in the original rendition.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), add the following new paragraph: “(e) “one person from the Ministry responsible for Special Development Initiatives not below the rank of director”
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman just said that when it is a “Ministry”, we do not say “responsible for” but he is now saying “responsible for.” The Hon Chairman should say something different because if it is the Hon Minister responsible for Special Initiatives, then what it means is that the Special Initiatives could be put under any Ministry and it would be open. That is why we would say that the “Hon Minister responsible”. Mr Speaker, but if we are talking about the current situation, then it could only be the Ministry of Special Initiatives. Mr Speaker, otherwise, the Hon Chairman would have to go back and do his amendment.
Hon Member, there is no Ministry responsible for Special Initiatives now but there is an
Mr Speaker, I would have agreed with his suggestion; but why is he trying to insert it here? This is because I have not seen it as one of the representatives, so, it would be safer to ask the person to come from the Office of the President. Mr Speaker, but ideally, it should come from the Secretariat that is supporting the Hon Minister of State. But if we want to say the Ministry responsible for Special Initiatives, then we are now creating it and it is not good to create a new Ministry in the law. As far as our records exist, the Ministry does not exist so we should not be mentioning it. In fact, we should change that one to a representative from the Office of the President but we know where it would come from.
Hon Members, may I propose that because there is no Ministry, any Hon Minister could be made responsible. So, it is better to use “Minister” here. So, one person from the Office of the Minister responsible for Special Development and Initiatives. Hon Patrick Boamah?
Mr Speaker, to support your position, that argument has been cured under the Interpretation Section. “Minister means Minister assigned responsibility for Special Develop- ment Initiatives.” So, it cures our suspicion.
Taking a cue from what Mr Speaker had alluded to, I beg to propose a further amendment to read: “one person from the Office of the Minister responsible for Special Development Initiatives not below the rank of a Director.”
Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Speaker, if his amendment is to take care of the concern, I still think because these Ministers are operating from the Presidency, for us to be consistent, the person should come from the Presidency. Otherwise, we should use “Secretariat”. If we would want to use “Secretariat”, the secretariat that helps the Minister now should be her secretariat, but not a ministerial secretariat in that case, which is the Office of the President. So, I still think the person should be nominated from the Secretariat of the Office of the President, but we should not talk about using “Special Development Initiative”. This is because it is going to be a difficult Ministry to create, and so long as we continue to say “Minister”, using “the Office of the President” would be better.
Hon Yieleh Chireh, do you recall there was a Ministry of Private Sector Initiative? Later, that responsibility was moved to the Ministry of Trade. So, the President could always move that responsibility under a minister; either a Minister of State at his office or under another minister. So, when you use “the Office of the Minister responsible”, then, we cover all the possibilities that exist.
Mr Speaker, the challenge is that this is a law, and the law would go beyond this Administration. It would also go beyond a policy that allows for special projects. A government could come and would not have special projects, but there would be a law saying that there must be a Minister for special projects who should oversee this. This is why we should make it a blanket “Minister of State from the Office of the President”, so that we do not encumber ourselves with a law that would be specific about a special Minister.
Mr Speaker, may I draw the Hon Member's attention to the fact that the Minister is created. We have the Minister responsible for Special Initiatives. Therefore, if we say one person from that office, I think we are not wrong. This is because the Minister is created. We might want to run from the Ministry. It is a Board that is being created, and the President would do the appointment, but he must make sure that one person is from that office. That person is being anticipated here because -- Mr Speaker, even the draftsperson did not bring it early when we were considering it, but we thought it wise that, at least, the Ministry that would be running this developmental authority would need somebody who is specialised for that office. That is why I think that it must not be anybody from the Office of the President but from the office of the Minister.
This is because, unless these laws are overreached and the development authorities are scrapped, these would be applicable. So, either there would be a Minister responsible for them specifically or they would be placed with any of the other traditional ministries. In either way, there would be a Minister responsible. If they are going to be scrapped totally, the law itself might cease to exist. So, I think that is the proper rendition; “the Minister responsible”.
Mr Speaker, is it possible that we could couch the rendition along the lines of the definition given to “Minister” in the interpretation section as “one person from the office of the Minister assigned responsibility for special development initiatives?
The same thing is the new proposal.
Mr Speaker, but here we do not talk about the Ministry. We are talking about the Minister.
No. We are proposing a change to “Minister responsible”. So, that is the proposal now. Hon Members, I would put the Question. Hon Chairman, could you repeat the new rendition so that Hon Members could make up their minds?
Mr Speaker, the proposed amendment is:
Hon Available Leader, it is 2.30 p.m. This is where I would bring the curtains down. Shall we finish clause 4? There is a last amendment to clause 4. Let us do that and bring the curtains down.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (h), line 1, delete “six” and insert “two with relevant expertise” and in line 2, delete “two of whom are” and insert “one of whom is”
“two persons with relevant experience nominated by the President, at least one of whom is a woman”.
In that case, your amendment is not complete. If you delete “are” and insert “is”, you would need to insert and change “women” to “woman”.
Mr Speaker, I agree with you.
Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw the attention of the Hon Chairman to the fact that the Board is 13 in number. The President was to nominate six, and we are to reduce it to two. Would it still add up to the 13? That is what we should also be thinking about.
Mr Speaker, I would want to remind Hon Members that the Coastal Development Authority consists of four regions. And we have just done an amendment at clause 4 (1) (c), that it is one representative each of traditional authorities nominated by the respective Regional Houses of Chiefs. It would still be a thirteen-member Board.
Yes, Hon Member for Adaklu?
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Chairman to consider this again. When we were doing the Northern and Middle Belt Development Authority Bills, we insisted to give assurance that there would be at least two women on the Board. With that, the current rendition should read: “… two of whom should be women.” We did it for the Northern and Middle Belt Development Authority Bills. And so, I would want to plead with the Hon Chairman to reconsider it again. It is just an assurance that come what, there would be --
There are two nominees, so, it cannot be “… two of whom are women.” I believe you would want to say that “… two nominees who must be women.”
Yes, Mr Speaker, the understanding is that it is likely that all the institutional representatives and everything might end up being men. This is the only assurance that come what may, there would be two women on the Board. I do not see anything wrong with it. And we have done it for the other ones already. So, if the Hon Chairman would not want to drag our feet for too long because he knows we need to go very far, he should just accept the fact that we did it for the other two, and we should do it for this one as well.
Mr Speaker, let me remind the Hon Member that it is a little different here. When it came to the Boards and the paragraphs from (a) to (h), we did not depart from that. However, there was a new proposal in the Northern Development Authority Bill which said that, instead, we should do away with clause 4, subclause 3 and insert another clause to read that “the President must make sure that there are at least two women on the Board”. Mr Speaker, when we came to the Middle Belt Development Authority, it fell. However, with the Northern Development Authority, we flagged it, and we have not taken a decision on that yet. It was not on this particular clause. It was a proposal that was made that, subclause (3) must be rephrased, but when it came to the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, we did not do that. We rather flagged it in the Northern Development Authority Bill of 2017. Therefore, in this, you would realise that I have not proposed any amendment to change subclause (3).
Mr Speaker, I still believe that, a further amendment would be: “Two women with professional expertise nominated by the President.” So that the issue of getting women on the Authority's Board is secured. First, when we look at this from where we are expecting a nomination to come from the Regional House of Chiefs, it is not likely that any Regional House of Chiefs will nominate a woman. It is not that it is not possible, but it is not likely. So, I believe that to secure women on the Authority, I support the amendment proposed by the Hon Agbodza that instead of putting it in this convoluted way, we should just say that: “Two women with professional relevant professional expertise nominated by the President.”
Hon Member, if we have to negotiate this further, I would suggest that we flag it. This is because we have to be consistent in the law. We cannot have in one zone, no discrimination and in another zone, the President's hands are tied to nominate two women, then in another one, he should create a special one. So, I propose that we flag this part and do further consultation on the matter.
Mr Speaker, as I rightly pointed out, if Hon Members are of the view that there should be a clause to say that on the entire Board, there must be two women on it, then it is not the paragraph (h) that we seek to amend. In the Northern Development Authority Bill, there was a proposal on subclause (3), but when we were considering the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill an idea cropped up that we
Hon Member, the proposal is that, we flag the matter. So, I will bring proceedings to a close for the day.
Mr Speaker, one of my Hon Colleagues would want to make a further amendment to paragraph (f).
Is it not advertised? All right. We have not finished work on clause 4, so, we can wait till Tuesday. We would defer the other --
Mr Speaker, it is an easy one. Clause 4 (1) (f), I would like to make an amendment to paragraph (f), but before I do so, I would wish to give a little background. Mr Speaker, when we talk about coastal development, in global terms now, we imply issues of climate change, high tidal movements and coastal erosion. We imply issues of destruction of communities and their relocations, migrations and livelihoods of the coastal communities that have to do with fishery stocks. Mr Speaker, an important category of professionals that are missing from the governing authority are professionals that are studying oceanography, marine science and coastal management. In Ghana, we have such bodies that are doing this. They have satellites on the coastal lines which take records and statistics, and occasionally, drones are used in doing this. So, I would like to propose that we replace paragraph (f), which is a little vague to me with the following: “One person from a public university, teaching or researching into coastal management, marine science or oceanography.” Mr Speaker, this is my proposed amendment. I beg to move.
Mr Speaker, I am opposed to this amendment. The Hon Member's concerns are taken care of when we get to paragraph (h), which deals with professional expertise in areas that he has mentioned in his submission. So, I believe he should relax a bit, because his concerns have been settled.
Mr Speaker, I support the amendment. This is because when we say, ‘private sector', it does not mean anything. One can be in the private sector selling dog chains. The Hon Member has highlighted the issues of the coastal belt. What he has highlighted are specialised people or a group of people who should help in the planning and development of the coastal areas. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member said we must get an expert to guide the Authority and for the other one, we talked about professional expertise from anywhere. I am a pharmacist; I would not be relevant there -- [Interruption] -- No, he did not put any relevance there --
Or you can be an oceanographer.
Mr Speaker, he wants to make sure that --
Hon Members, this proposal was supposed to be easy, but this is very controversial. So, I would defer the matter and when we come back to discuss clause 4, we will deal with it. Hon Members, it is past 2.00 p.m., so, I will adjourn the House.
The House was adjourned at 2.46 p.m. till Tuesday, 24th October, 2017 at 12.00 noon.