Hon Members, there is a correspondence from the President. SPACE FOR COMMUNICATION -- PAGE 1 -- 12.35 P.M.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, correction o f t h e Votes and Proceedings dated 20th October, 2017. Page 1…17 --
Mr Speaker, I tried to catch your eye on page 16 -- “… Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group Lic…” should read “… Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group Llc…” Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you very much. Any further correction? Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 20th October, 2017 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. Hon Members, Official Report dated Friday, 13th October, 2017 -- Any correction?
Mr Speaker, at column 665, the first paragraph, “Thursday” is spelt without an “s”. Could it be accordingly corrected? Thank you.
Thank you, Hon Member. Any further corrections? The Official Report of Friday, 13th October, 2017 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. Hon Members, we shall have a Statement delivered by the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs, as today is the United Nations (UN) Day. Yes, Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs?
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
Yes, Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ranking Member for the Foreign Affairs Committee?
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful. Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Statement ably made by Ghana's Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs to mark the 2017 United Nations Day. Mr Speaker, earlier today, some of us had the opportunity to join the Hon Minister at a flag-raising ceremony this morning at the forecourt of the State House, which was impressively carried out with the able support of the United Nations Resident Coordinator. Mr Speaker, as we mark the UN Day today, we do that as a country that can be very proud of the contributions that we have made to the United Nations. We may be a very small country in terms of population, but our contributions to the UN have not been small by any measure. Mr Speaker, we can proudly say that we have produced the first black Secretary-General of the UN, who is the 7 th Secretary-General of the United Nations, in the person of His Excellency, Bosumuru Kofi Annan. Mr Speaker, we were the first country to produce a black African President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in the person of Dr Alex Quaison
Mr Speaker, I thank you for your kindness and the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by our respected Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Speaker, I would begin my contribution with a text quotation from George Courtel. It states: “The greatest asset of any nation is the spirit of its people, and the greatest danger that can menace any nation is the breakdown of that spirit.” Some years down the lane, after the ashes of the Second World War, a new spirit of awakening was ignited among the
One from each side, and then the Leadership. Hon Buah?
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. Let me thank the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Statement on the UN Day. Mr Speaker, I believe on a day like this, we have to celebrate the very important achievements of the UN peacekeeping. As it has been stated, Ghana's role in peacekeeping across the world cannot be overemphasised. The UN has been celebrating today its humanitarian efforts and infrastructural development across the world. Mr Speaker, I am happy that the Hon Minister, in talking about the SDGs, stated that Ghana has incorporated the SDGs into our own development plan for the next forty years. I think it is important, as we discuss this, to state that the only way we can achieve this is to re-focus attention to our own National Development Planning Commission, and make it an entity that is well funded, which is not political and which will focus on the serious business of our development. Mr Speaker, as we talk about the UN, we cannot help but focus on some of the challenges of the UN. I think a lot has been stated. We still have a lot of work to do to make sure we close the gap; the gap between men and women in workplaces. In all aspects of women's lives, we have to make sure that the UN is empowered to empower women across the globe. We need to work to address the issues of terrorism, which are critical. Mr Speaker, it is also very important that we deal with the very serious issues that confront the UN -- the unfair representation of Africa at the Security Council, which has been stated. This effort has been ongoing for the last twenty years. At some point, it was very clear, and we thought we had achieved it; India and South Africa were to go the Security Council. It never materialised. Mr Speaker, the time has come for the UN Security Council to make sure that Africa is well represented. The UN is too important for world powers to use it as a football field in bullying smaller countries around the globe. It is important that the UN is represented even by the poorest countries, and to make sure that the poorest countries of the world have a fair voice. Mr Speaker, on a day like this, we celebrate the UN but we recognise that there is a lot of work ahead. We must all, collectively around the globe, unite to support the UN to be stronger and help deal with the challenges ahead. Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
Thank you very much, Hon Member.
Hon Member, be winding up please.
Thank you. Leadership?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would want to add my voice in thanking the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs for making a Statement today to mark the UN Day and to thank the Hon Ranking Member, Hon Chairman and my Hon Colleagues. Yes, the UN continues to have its challenges like any organisation. For those who have doubt, the UN is as important today as it was when it was set up over 50 years ago. The reason is that if you look around the world, the areas the UN has emphasised, continues to be very critical. Without the UN these areas would delude the whole world. One is the area of health and relief aid. Today, the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to be the most authentic source of health related activities and benchmarks. If you look at medicines and innovations, the WHO has led the fight so that today many diseases such as polio, chicken pox and the likes are almost eradicated. This is through the work of the UN and we cannot continue to play down on the role the UN has played in the area of health and relief aid. Another area that the UN has been helpful in is the area of financing. With the establishment of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - - regardless, they continue to have difficulties. Today, it is still the best benchmark used around the world to fight and eradicate poverty, especially in countries where poverty is high. Mr Speaker, financing of the World Bank and IMF, through the UN is a very important component. Countries like ours continue to seek advice and expertise from organisations such as the IMF and the World Bank to continue to improve our economy and be able to take our people out of poverty. Mr Speaker, another area where the UN has done so well over the years is the area of peace and security. Yes, there are countries that continue to have challenges, there are war-torn areas and sometimes we all wish that the UN would be proactive in trying to prevent the war. Nevertheless, the role of the UN in peace and security is something that the world could not do without. I would want to agree with some of my Hon Colleagues, when they say that the whole African continent does not have representation at the Security Council. It is a major concern but that does not take away the role of the Security Council. Obviously, you would have the big players and small players in a kind of senior brother and fatherly role. That notwithstanding, if you put it on a scale of balance, you would still see that the role of the Security Council is something that the world cannot do without. Lastly Mr Speaker, the issue of human rights. Today, almost every country has tried to benchmark to the declaration of human rights as set up by the UN Charters. If you observe our country 30 years ago, what were our human rights records? How were we treating one other? How was our own government treating us? We would continue to have challenges, but if we mapped and put it on a scale, I believe that the UN is playing a very important role. Nobody doubts the issue of reforms, but I believe that we need to continue to emphasise the positives of the UN as we point to the challenges that need to be improved. That is the only way we would see it as a useful organ which all of us must support.
Mr Speaker, I rise to add my voice to the well-presented Statement which was made by the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would want to quote the preamble to the United Nations' Charter. “We the people of the United Nations determined to… “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and..” Mr Speaker, this Statement on the 72nd Day of the United Nations (UN), brings to the fore some of the challenges that most of my Hon Colleagues have enumerated. Mr Speaker, the President of this country, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, at the last UN Assembly, reiterated his commitment to sustain and put in place well and coherent programmes towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Mr Speaker, in this regard, the President, who co-chairs the UN's advocacy group of eminent persons after succeeding former President John Dramani Mahama, mentioned some of the key programmes that in his view would help him to achieve some of the SDG's in his speech. These included the setting up of a new Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources, the One District One Factory programme, the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs' and the Free Senior High School policy. Mr Speaker, most of my Hon Colleagues have spoken about the reforms that the UN Security Council would need to go through. Big powers like Brazil, India, Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana are potential candidates who could help in the reform agenda of the UN Security Council. Mr Speaker, countries like North Korea and the threat to global peace and security which has led to some serious concerns on the global scene require a very strong UN Security Council to deal with the issues once and for all. Mr Speaker, banters between the United States of America (USA) and Iran on nuclear weapons and encrichment require a very robust Security Council to deal with such situations which have the potential to affect global peace and security. Mr Speaker, with global terrorism -- last week, a very terrible incident happened in Niger, where four USA soldiers were killed. These are some of the issues that require a Security Council that would embrace all continents, especially, countries which are well affected by some of these global threats, for example, Niger, Mali and those that are within the Sahelian Regions of West Africa. Mr Speaker, the UN would need to take a further look at incentives which are given to peace keeping groups that are sent out on peace keeping missions. The Ghana Armed Forces has contributed so much to the UN security efforts and would require all the necessary support that the UN would give to such a very important institution of State. Mr Speaker, global climate change and its effects on Puerto Rico; the United States of America, also require the UN which has all the funding agencies, but very difficult to access the Global Environmental Fund, to be able to fight the menace. Mr Speaker, the UN has seen some reforms. Now, there is United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). So, the UN requires a bit of teeth to be able to deal with some of the challenging issues that have plagued the world today. Mr Speaker, on this note, I thank you very much, and I would want to congratulate the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Statement which she ably made in this House.
Hon Members, once more, I would want to appreciate the effort of the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs in this regard. Hon Members, this brings us to the end of Statements. We would move on to Public Business for a moment and allow the Hon Minister for Defence to proceed with the presentation of the relevant Bills. Hon Members, we would vary Business and allow the Hon Minister --
Yes, Hon Munutaka?
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Whip?
Mr Speaker, I believe we have gone past this level. Mr Speaker, at the pre-Sitting meeting, just as the Hon Minority Chief Whip said, we all agreed with you, that after the Statement, you would allow the Hon Minister for Defence, who has been in the House for some time now, to do the presentation of the Bill and then we would move to Question time. Mr Speaker, all the time that the Hon Minority Chief Whip has taken could have been used by the Hon Minister for Defence to present the Bill and we would have moved on. Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minority Chief Whip still wants us to make an application, with your leave, I would want to invoke Standing Order 53 (2) to vary the order of Business so that the Hon Minister for Defence could present the Bill so that we could move on to other Business. Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Hon Members, by way of the application of our rules, which in fact is the law, the Speaker can vary the order of Business, and that is exactly what the Speaker commenced to do, and the variation, I would do. Secondly, it is very clear that the Statement by the Hon Minority Chief Whip was totally premature. This is because I had earlier stated the reason for any changes whatsoever, and that had been well reiterated by the Hon Deputy Majority Whip. The variation would be done and then we shall continue in a manner that would not affect the speculative fear expressed by the Hon Minority Whip. Hon Members, I proceed accordingly. At the Commencement of Public Business — Item numbered 6. BILLS — FIRST READING Maj. Mahama Trust Fund Bill, 2017 AN ACT to establish the Maj. Mahama Trust Fund and to provide for related matters.
Hon Members, the Bill is duly read the First time and referred to the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report.
Mr Speaker, this is a financial Bill, and if you do not mind, the Finance Committee should partner the Committee on Defence and Interior because it has some financial compo- nents; and in this House the Finance Committee must be involved in all financial matters.
Any contrary view?
The Minority view is supportive of that of the Majority. The Finance Committee is added accordingly. Presented by the Hon Minister for Defence (Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul). Read the First time; referred to the joint Committee on Defence and Interior and Finance.
Hon Members, we would go back to item numbered 3 — Hon Minister for Energy.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Energy has travelled to South Africa on an official duty. The Hon Deputy Minister for Energy is in the House. If you would permit him to answer the Question with your leave on behalf of the Minister.
Hon Deputy Minister, please, take the seat. Hon Members, Order! Hon Members, Question numbered *54. Hon Members, Questions would be limited to the Hon Members in whose names they stand — Constituency specific. Hon Member for Damongo, you may please ask your Question.
MINISTRY OF ENERGY
Hon Member, any follow- up questions?
Mr Speaker, in his response to my Question, the Hon Deputy Minister indicated, and with your permission, I read: “There are however some outstanding materials to be sent to the sites… Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister what the outstanding materials are.
Mr Speaker, primarily, we are short of pole chop materials and conductors.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister the status of the procurement process.
Mr Speaker, we hope to take delivery of some of these materials by the end of the year.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister if he could assure us, that by the end of the first quarter of 2018, these communities would actually be connected.
Mr Speaker, barring any unforeseen circumstance, I can assure this august House that we would deliver by the end of the first quarter, 2018.
Hon Members, the next Question stands in the name of the Hon Member for Akan. Extension of electricity Q.94. Mr Abdul Aziz Muniru asked 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) Avornyokope (vii) Dunyokope (viii) Somunanten (ix) Lomnava (x) Poase Cement (xi) Obuase (xii) Ampeyo Zongo 1 & 2 (xiii) Pampawie (xiv) Dainga (xv) Dapaa Junction (xvi) Pepesu (xvii) Dodo-Tamale (xviii) Asato Zongo (xix) Kordibenun Akan.
Mr Speaker, none of the above-mentioned communities form part of any of the electrification projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Energy. The Ministry's checks on the communities indicate that there is access to electricity at Ketepui, Gyamlome, Kosamba, Kadjebi, New Zongo, Avornyokope, Dunyokope, Lomnava, Poase Cement, Obuase, Pampawie, Dapaa Junction, Pepesu, Dodo-Tamale, Asato Zongo and Kordibenum Akan communities. It is noted that the existing electricity network in the communities will require intensification (expansion) works. The Ministry of Energy will forward the above list of towns to Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for consideration under their intensification programmes since the works fall outside the Ministry of Energy's electrification scheme. The Ministry notes that ECG has commenced intensification works at Dapaa Junction to improve the electricity distribution system in the community. The works are expected to be completed by end of fourth quarter, 2017. Further checks with ECG indicated that Ampeyo Zongo 1 & 2 communities have access to a single phase electricity supply. According to ECG Regional Office at Koforidua, design drawings have been completed for intensification works in the community. Approval for the project implementation is to be sought under ECG's 2018 budget. Somunanten and Dainga communities do not form part of any of the Ministry's ongoing electrification project. The communities have been noted and would be considered for future electrification projects.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister did indicate in his Answer that most of the communities in question need intensification - that is the object of the Question. I would want to know when the list would be forwarded to ECG to work on these communities so that I can make a follow up. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, as of yesterday, the lists were being compiled to be forwarded to ECG for them to resume the intensification works at these communities.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister did indicate in his Answer that Somunanten and Dainga of Dodoamanfrom are not connected and I would want the Hon Deputy Minister to tell this House when these communities would be constituted and when would he constitute a team to conduct a survey in these communities? Thank you.
Mr Speaker, under the National Electrification Scheme, we regularly review lists of communities that are brought to this august House before approval to be connected to the national grid. Hopefully, we would be doing same under the China Water Programme in the second phase of that programme which is scheduled for next year. We hope to include these communities in that programme.
Hon Members, Question numbered 95 -- Hon Member for Bawku Central? Resumption of the Tengashep Programme in Bawku Central Q.95. Mr Mahama Ayariga asked the Minister for Energy when the extension of electricity to rural communities under the Tengashep Programme would resume in Bawku Central.
Mr Speaker, twenty one (21) communities in the Bawku Central District of the Upper East region were earmarked to benefit from the electrification project executed by Tengashep (Pty) Ghana Limited. 17 out of the 21 communities were completed and connected to the national grid between 2014 and 2015. Works in four (4) communities namely, Gentiga number 1 and 2, Tampizua number 1 and 2, Yumboko and Kolpiem could not be completed due to shortage of materials under the project. Gentiga number 1 and 2, Tampizua number 1 and 2 and Yumboko have been re-awarded under the Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP-4) being implemented by the Ministry of Energy. The Ministry has since supplied overhead materials and completed conductor stringing over the High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) poles which were planted by Tengashep at Yumboko community. Customer service connection has commenced in the community with 20 customers connected so far. Some outstanding materials for the customer service connection at Yumboko are being arranged for release to complete works in the community by end of December, 2017. All HV and LV poles required for Gentiga number 1 and2 and Tampizua number 1 and & 2 have been supplied and planted at site. HV stringing has been completed and transformer mounted at Tampizua numbere 1 and 2. LV Poles dressing in Tampizua number 1 and 2 has been completed awaiting stringing whilst dressing is yet to commence in Gentiga number 1 and 2. There are however some outstanding materials to be sent to the above- mentioned sites to complete the project in the communities. The Ministry is in the process of procuring these materials to allow for completion of works. The Project in the above communities has been scheduled for completion by the end of the second quarter of 2018. In respect of Kolpiem and other communities which could not be completed under the Tengashep project, the Ministry of Energy is in the process of securing funds to complete all such outstanding works.
Mr Speaker, the Ten- gashep Programme run out of funds and the projects for the communities have been repackaged and awarded to new contractors. Those contractors were to be given materials to do the work. So, the real issue on the ground now is lack of materials for the various contractors to implement the project. So the real question I ask is, how soon would the Ministry be able to make material available for the project to be completed?
Mr Speaker, as stated earlier, the Ministry is in the process of procuring materials which we hope to take delivery of by the end of the year. These contracts have already been sent to our materials unit and as soon as the materials arrive they would be transported to the various sites.
Hon Members, Question 96 -- Hon Member for Zabzugu? Completion of Electrification Projects in Kukpaliga, Korikurugu, Nyankpala, Mongoasea and Jagrido Q. 96. Mr Alhassan Umar asked the Minister for Energy when the electrification of the following communities would be completed: (i) Kukpaliga (ii) Korikurugu (iii) Nyankpala (iv) Mongoasea (v) Jagrido.
Mr Speaker, Kukpaliga, Korikurugu, Nyankpala, Mongoasea and Jagrido communities in the Zabzugu District form part of the on-going Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP-5) being implemented by the Ministry. High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) poles have been delivered and planted at the various sites. Some materials for installation works have also been sent to these sites. The Ministry is in the process of procuring the outstanding materials to allow for the completion of works by the end of first quarter, 2018.
Mr Speaker, can the Hon Deputy Minister give us the time lines for the procurement of those materials?
Mr Speaker, as I stated earlier, the materials have actually been ordered and we hope to take delivery of them before the end of the year. As I said earlier, as soon as the materials arrive, they would be transported to the site in question.
Mr Speaker, I would like to know when the procurement of the materials were ordered.
Mr Speaker, as it may be well known by students of history in ministerial affairs, when there is a transition, there is always a time lag between ordering and procuring materials. So, we have suffered that time lag. We have procured some materials. Others were already on order by the previous regime. As I said, we hope to take delivery of them by end of the year, and we would send them to the sites for the work to be completed.
Hon Member, your last question -- All right, thank you. Hon Quashigah? Supply of Electric Metres to Ledzorbui, Aflakpota etc. Communities Q. 97. Mr Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah asked the Minister for Energy when the following communities which were connected under the Rural Electrification Project would be supplied with electric meters: (i) Ledzorbui (ii) Aflakpota (iii) Hortagba (iv) Gbetuinu (v) Havene Abor (vi) Kutsime (vii) Kutsidzi (viii) Agorvinu.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry's checks indicated that six (6) of the communities, namely Ledzorbui, Aflakpota, Hortagba, Gbetuinu, Havene Abor and Agorvinu communities have been captured to benefit under ECG's funded special project being implemented in the Volta Region. Installation works in these communities have been commissioned, awaiting meter installa- tions. Further checks indicated that customer registration in these communities has been completed and the customers are expected to pay an applicable service connection fee to allow for connections to the national electricity grid. The project, including the service connection is expected to be completed by end of December, 2017. Kutsime and Kutsidzi communities do not form part of any of the Ministry's ongoing electrification project. The communities have been noted and would be considered for future electrification projects.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister whether he is aware, that the six communities that he mentioned actually paid their connection fees over a year ago. If he is aware, why then would they be saying that they expect them to pay connection fee at this time? I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, this information is news to the Ministry. As such, I would crave your indulgence to permit us to go back and find out exactly what is happening and revert to the House.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister said that the connection would be done by December, 2017. Is he aware that this project is over three years old?
Mr Speaker, as to the length of time that the project has taken, that is really neither here nor there. We have just indicated that we would complete that project by end of December, 2017. Mr Speaker, I thank you.
The Hon Member for Pru East, Dr Kwabena Donkor? Attributable Development Cost of Offshore Cape Three Points (ENI) Field Q. 98. Dr Kwabena Donkor asked the Minister for Energy what was the attributable development cost of the Offshore Cape Three Points (ENI) field.
Mr Speaker, there are two types of cost, (i) the total project cost as indicated in the Plan of Development (PoD) submitted by the operator of the field, ENI, and approved by the then Ministry of Petroleum, which is US$ 6.052 billion and (ii) the actual cost realised through award of contract and forecast, which is US$5.485 billion. The projected savings would therefore be US$567 million.
Hon Member, any follow up?
Mr Speaker, having now established the actual development cost of the Offshore Cape Three Points (ENI) field and production having commenced for at least four months, can the Hon Deputy Minister tell us the gas price to power sector operators from that field?
Mr Speaker, the gas price as was negotiated by the previous regime, was US$9.8 per MMBtu. The savings, US$567 million, that we have made would go towards reduction in the price of gas. It is my understanding that every US$100 million reduces the price of gas to the tune of about US$0.55 cent.
Mr Speaker, would the Hon Deputy Minister acknowledge that the US$9.5 per MMBtu quoted was an indicative price and that in the Petroleum Agreement, provision had been made for the parties to assess the actual price when actual development cost is known. If the answer to that is yes, what has the Ministry done to actualise price base on the known production cost?
Mr Speaker, the answer is no. [Laughter.]
Hon Member, you may proceed.
Mr Speaker, I asked a simple question, whether he was aware that the US$9.5 per MMBtu he quoted was only indicative and that the actual price would be based on actual development cost. If he is aware that this is in the contract, what steps has the Ministry taken to actualise the provisions of the Petroleum Agreement?
Mr Speaker, honestly, I am not aware of that. So, I cannot move on to the second leg of the question. So, I would leave it as it is. I thank you.
Hon Member, your last one.
Mr Speaker, I can understand that he is not the scheduled Minister for Petroleum. It is for this reason that the Question was addressed to the Hon Minister who has responsibility for both Petroleum and Power. Mr Speaker, having said that, can the Hon Deputy Minister tell us the quantity of gas in place in terms of the ENI Sankofa Field and when the gas in place would hit the processing plant for power sector operators to be able to access that power?
Hon Member, why do you not ask a question directed in this regard? I think it is very pertinent but a specific answer would help the House to proceed. So, you are at liberty to ask a specific question in relation to that; otherwise, we will end up going into the total policy framework and matters arising. If you have any other question, you may ask for the last time.
Mr Speaker, I take a cue from you. Can the Hon Deputy Minister tell us how much gas we are expecting from the ENI Sankofa Field and when such gas would be available for consumption?
Mr Speaker, as I stand here, I am not aware as to the amount of gas expected and when it would be made available for processing. What I cannot say is that, that information can be gotten for the Hon Member in due course.
On notice. The next Question stands in the name of the Hon Member for Salaga.
Hon Member, when we define the parameters for our operation, do not let it be breached. It would look like you are not allowing a particular person to speak. We know how we are proceeding.
Mr Speaker, this is a general Question and not a constituency specific Question. We agree that once it is not a constituency specific Question, this Hon Member should be allowed to ask his question.
Hon Member, you may continue with the question.
Mr Speaker, there have been a lot of discussion about the ENI gas price and how expensive it was. We had at the time stated, that the price was indicative and that it would determine
Mr Speaker, that is my question. Is the Hon Minister telling the world today that there is a saving --
Hon Member, this is not Statement time. You may ask what we understand to be parliamentary question.
Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, he stated that the projected savings would therefore be US$567 million. Is this savings going to result in a reduction in the gas price?
Mr Speaker, the answer is yes, I indicated that when I answered a Question posed by Hon Donkor, that every US$100 million would hopefully reduce the price of gas to the tune of US$55 cents.
You may ask the last question.
Mr Speaker, I believe that we can do the mathematics. The Hon Deputy Minister has indicated, that every US$100 million would reflect a US$55 cents reduction. So, could the Hon Minister tell us, based on this number, roughly how much we are saving based on the savings?
Mr Speaker, the anticipated savings should be in a region of US$3.1 reduction in the 9.7, but for the expenditure of US$120 million by ENI on the reverse flow, it would be somewhere in the region of US$4.
Mr Speaker, in answering the follow-up question from Hon Donkor, the Hon Deputy Minister did indicate that he was not aware that the 9.8 is indicative, and that based on the actual development cost, we could make some savings. Mr Speaker, at the same time, he says that every US$100 million reduction would lead to a corresponding reduction of US$55 cents. Could the Hon Minister tell us, how he is not aware that 9.8 is only indicative at the same time, he told the House that a reduction of every US$100 million would lead to a correspondent US$55 cents reduction on the 9.8.
Mr Speaker, the question that Hon Donkor asked is not the same as what Hon Jinapor alluded to. These are two different questions that are being asked of me. When I answered Hon Donkor, I got it right and when I answered Hon Buah, I got it absolutely right.
We would move on to Question numbered 99 which stands in the name of Hon Member for Salaga South. Completion of Electrification Project in Kpembe, Iddipe et cetera Communities Q. 99. Mr Salifu Adam Braimah asked the Minister for Energy when the electrification of the following communities in the Salaga South Constituency which were started in 2016 under SHEP 4 would be completed: (i) Kpembe (ii) Iddipe (iii) Sabon Kasoa (iv) Sirimuchu (v) Talkpa (vi) Abrumase (vii) Kegbatito (viii) Akamade.
Mr Speaker, Kpembe, Iddipe, Sabon Kasoa, Sirimuchu, Talkpa, Abrumase, Kegbatito and Akamade in the East Gonja District form part of the Ministry's Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP-4) currently being implemented by the Ministry of Energy. 31no. High Voltage (HV) poles and 135no. Low Voltage (LV) poles have been supplied and planted at Kpembe, Iddipe and Sabon Kasoa communities. Materials required for the construction of HV and LV networks are yet to be sent to the project sites. The Ministry is in the process of procuring the outstanding materials to allow for the completion of works in these communities by the end of the second quarter of 2018. Although the HV and LV poles have been sent to Sirimuchu, Talkpa, Abrumase, Kegbatito and Akamade, with stringing commenced at Abrumase, the project in these communities have been put on hold due to the termination of contract for non-performance by the contractor. The Ministry's consultant has been requested to carry out material reconciliation to determine outstanding works for re-award to another contractor.
Any follow-up questions?
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the Hon Deputy Minister could actually give us an indication on when the materials would be supplied.
Mr Speaker, as I have stated about three times now, the materials have been procured and we hope to take delivery by the end of the year. As soon as they arrive, they would be sent to the project site.
Mr Speaker, as regards the termination of the contract, could the Hon Deputy Minister give us an indication when they would get a contractor to take over from the one whose contract was abrogated?
Mr Speaker, the extent to which the consultant has gone in getting a new contractor, I cannot be specific while standing here. I would revert to the House when that process would be completed.
Hon Members, we move to Question numbered 134 which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Sene East. Connection of Bakpakope, Okoto et cetera Communities to National Electricity Grid Q. 134. Mr Dominic Napare asked the Minister for Energy what plans the Ministry had to connect the following communities to the National Electricity Grid: (i) Bakpakope (ii) Okoto Akura (iii) Abugame (iv) Ga-Kope (v) Kofi-Gah (vi) Tordzikope (vii) Aglakope (viii) Tofetofe (ix) Ballah (x) Jerusalem (xi) Israel (xii) Torkpenya (xiii) Alowoe (xiv) Yaw Kra (xv) Mabon.
Mr Speaker, Bakpakope, Okoto Akura, Abugame, Ga-Kope, Tordzikope, Aglakope, Tofetofe, Ballah, Jerusalem, Israel, Torkpenya and Alowoe communities have been earmarked to benefit under the India Exim Bank/ ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) funded phase-2 electrification project. The project has been planned for implementation in 2018 when the necessary bank approval (no-objection) processes have been concluded. The engineering survey for the communities under the planned project has since been completed. A draft tender document has been submitted to EBID for their no- objection letter. The no-objection letter is expected by the end of December, 2017, following which the tender documents will be issued to prospective contractors. Kofi-Gah, Yaw Kra and Mabon communities do not form part of any of the Ministry of Energy's on-going electrification project. The communities have been noted and would be considered for future electrification projects.
Hon Member, any follow up question?
Mr Speaker, in the last paragraph of the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer he mentioned Kofi-Gah, Yaw Kra and Mabon as communities which are not part of the current electrification project of the Ministry. Mr Speaker, considering the fact that some of these communities, especially Yaw Kra and others are along the main route on which this earmarked project is to be executed, would the Ministry's engi- neering team reconsider the communities for the sake of minimising the cost of construction or production, and also to be fair to the communities that are on the main route of the electrification project but would not benefit now.
Mr Speaker, please I am very sorry, I did not hear the Hon Member's question.
Hon Member, please repeat.
Mr Speaker, I said that he indicated in the last paragraph of his Answer that Kofi-Gah, Yaw Kra, Mabon and other communities are not part of the earmarked project for which the engineering surveys have been con- ducted. Mr Speaker, some of these communities like Yaw Kra are on the same route on which these other communities have been selected and would benefit from this project. So, would the Ministry consider further engineering works since these communities are also on the same route, and for the sake of minimising the cost of production, if they are to be captured in a different phase and to ensure fairness?
Mr Speaker, this would be considered. I have the engineers seated behind me and so we would take note and consider the Hon Member's proposal.
Hon Members, the next Question stands in the name of the Hon Member for Ashaiman. It is a Question directed to the Hon Minister for Agriculture. Hon Deputy Minister for Energy, we are grateful for attending to the House and answering our Questions. You are discharged. Hon Leader?
Mr Speaker, with your leave, the Hon Minister for Agriculture is outside the country but the Hon Deputy Minister is here to answer the Question. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Hon Deputy Minister, you may take your chair. Hon Members, the Answer to the Question is on the Addendum Order Paper which has just been distributed. Hon Member for Ashaiman?
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
Hon Member, any follow up question?
Mr Speaker, could the Hon Deputy Minister provide us with the list of companies that were involved in this procurement process and is he also aware that going through all the procurement processes before retros- pective approval from the PPA does not fall under any procurement method in the Act, therefore, there was a violation of the method in the Act and a violation of the Act?
Mr Speaker, I have the list of companies that supplied the chemicals. They are 12 in all and I could tender it to the House. Mr Speaker, we have a letter from the PPA approving our request, and to the best of my knowledge, if we were wrong, then the PPA would not have done same.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister said they had approval from the PPA. Was that retrospective? Before one goes into single source procurement, he must seek approval from the PPA. He is talking of having retrospective approval from the PPA. Was it before or after?
“Retrospective” necessary implies “after “.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, I would want that clarification to be made. Mr Speaker, could the Hon Deputy Minister tell the House the total cost involved in this procurement and what has been the impact of the insecticides on the armyworm?
Hon Deputy Minister, the total cost and impact.
Mr Speaker, the total cost of the procurement was GH¢9, 998,996.00, and the armyworms have been generally controlled.
The last question.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Hon Deputy Minister said in his Answer that the fact that the PPA approved retrospectively is right. Is the Hon Deputy Minister saying that is the way we are going to go about procurement in the country?
Hon Member, there are procedures for subsequent approval, under the law. So, if there is something specifically wrong in the retrospectivity in the specific instance, say it.
Mr Speaker, I have in my hand the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and the amended Act 914. There is no part in the Act that states retrospective approval. Therefore, if the Hon Deputy Minister is telling us that they got respective approval from the Authority, the question I am asking is whether this is the way we are going to go. What is the legal basis for that particular action?
Hon Deputy Minister, the legal basis for that particular retrospective action? Please go on; it is a clear question.
Mr Speaker, I am not a lawyer, but I have in my possession here retrospective approval from the PPA and I am saying that if it were wrong, the PPA would not have done same.
Mr Speaker, my last question; is the Hon Minister aware that retrospective approval is violation of the law?
Yes, Hon Member? Hon Deputy Minister, wait.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I refer you to Standing Order 67 (1)(b), which is on conditions for admissibility of Questions, that Questions must comply with the following conditions: “(b) a Question shall not contain any argument, expression of opinion, inferences, imputations, epithets or controversial, ironical or offensive expressions or hypothetical cases;” Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is seeking a legal opinion on the truth or otherwise of a particular provision within the Public Procurement Act, and it is my view that it violates the rules of the House.
The law is presumed to be known by all. Ignorance thereof would excuse no one.
Mr Speaker, I am not aware.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister quoted section 40 (1) (c) of Act 663. I have a copy, and permit me to read section 40(1) (c): “(1) A procurement entity (In this case the Minister) may engage in single source procurement under section 41 with the approval of the Board, in the following exceptional circumstances (c) where owing to a catastrophic event, there is an urgent need for
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you have the Act. The Hon Deputy Minister does not have it here. Therefore, if you would want specificities, then, bring a Question specifically directed at that. We would then give him notice, and the Minister would answer accordingly. It is a proper question to ask, but it requires notice of its own.
Mr Speaker, I quoted the section that the Hon Deputy Minister quoted in his Answer. I read that section and I presume that he knows that section, and that is why he quoted it. The section was clear. The section did not say that could be done under a retrospective action. Let me ask the Hon Deputy Minister, when he said that he had in his possession a letter from the PPA which gave him the authority to procure those insecticides retrospectively, was it stated in that letter that they could go ahead and procure the insecticide before being given approval? Does he have that letter in his possession? If he has, he should tender in a copy of that letter.
In management of public affairs, if you are granted a retrospective permission, you are granted the permission with regard to what has happened already. So, that one could not be granted for future purposes. If you want to ask a substantive Question, it is something that you could really do; ask it specifically so that a specific Answer could be given. That is my ruling. Ask another question.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister says he has in his possession a copy of the letter which gave him that approval. Could he tender in a copy of the letter from the PPA?
Yes, this is a matter of public interest. Hon Deputy Minister, you would as well do so. Do you have a copy of the letter? That is what the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is asking for.
Mr Speaker, I have the letter on the retrospective approval, and I can tender it in today. [Interruption.]
Hon Members, leave my job to me. [Laughter.] Hon Deputy Minister, you will leave that at the Table Office if you have it now. If you do not have it, you will be given specific time to leave that at the Table Office.
Mr Speaker, I have the letter.
Do you have the letter with you?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Please, Table Office, kindly take possession.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Minority Leadership, you have had your bite at what I call Leadership questions. I pray that we do not revisit matters that should not be matters -- Yes, Majority Leadership?
Mr Speaker, I think we are cool with the Answers that the Hon Deputy Minister has given.
“You are cool” is not parliamentary language. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I think we are all right.
Thank you very much. That would bring us to the end of Question time. Hon Deputy Minister, thank you for coming to the House and answering our Questions. You may leave the letter with the Table Office. The Hansard will capture it and it will be part of the records. SPACE FOR PUBLIC PROCUREMENTAUTHORITY - PAGE 2 - 2.35 P.M.
Mr Speaker, apart from going to the Consideration Stage of the Coastal Development Authority Bill, 2017, we have exhausted the Questions. So, we look up to you.
Is the item listed 5 on the Order Paper ready?
No, Mr Speaker.
Nor item listed as 7?
Mr Speaker, item listed as 7 is also not ready.
Then can we move to the Coastal Development Authority Bill, 2017 at the Consideration Stage? Item numbered 8. In the process, the Hon Second Deputy Speaker will take the Chair. I have been advised that we have done clauses 1, 2 and 3, and we are on clause 4. Is the Hon Chairman of the Committee ready?
Yes, Mr Speaker, I am.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), SPACE FOR CHEMICAL DISTRIBUTION - PAGE 3 - 2.35 P.M. 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 expertise nominated by the President at least one of whom is a woman.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, any further amendments?
No, Mr Speaker, that is all on clause 4.
Then I will put the Question on clause 4 as a whole. Clause 4 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 5 -- Functions of the Board
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Yes, Hon Chairman, continue.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 5, subclause (2), paragraph (d), delete and insert “implement the recommendations of the Auditor-General and take the necessary action.”
Mr Speaker, this particular amendment corresponds with the earlier ones that have been done in
the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 and the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017, so, it is very appropriate. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 5, subclause (2), paragraph (f), lines 1 and 2, delete “as determined by the Minister”.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Hon Chairman of the Committee should tell us the reasons for the deletion of the phrase “as determined by the Minister”, so that we would appreciate what went into the amendment more.
Mr Speaker, most of the things have been agreed to by the Honourable House. We have worked on two Bills already, and most of the Bills have it. These words are being deleted because we think they are superfluous.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, are you satisfied with the explanation?
Mr Speaker, not exactly. I would have been satisfied if he had said that was a Board, and its functions should not be determined by the Hon Minister. I would appreciate it more than that.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, is that the case?
With respect, Mr Speaker, he is a senior Hon Member of the House. I said that was superfluous, and I think what he has said confirms that. I am grateful, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, in the absence of any further contribution, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, there are no further amendments to clause 5.
Mr Speaker, I would want some education from the Hon Chairman on clause 5(3).
Hon Member, is it clause 5 (3)?
Mr Speaker, is so. It says: “The Board shall in the performance of its functions be responsible to the Minister.” Mr Speaker, if we look at clause 5, which is on “Functions of the Board”, I would want some education on why “the Board” -- going down to clause 6, which says: “ (1) A member of the Board has the same fiduciary relationship with the Authority and the same duties to act with loyalty and in good faith as a director of a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179).” Mr Speaker, we all know the --
Hon Member, I am sorry, which clause are you reading? Is it clause 6?
Mr Speaker, I would want to tie clause 3 to clause 6, to find out why a Board --
Hon Member, we should not jump the gun. We are at clause 5 now, so, if you are raising a question on clause 5 (3), then you should raise it with that before we get to clause 6, to see whether we can marry the two. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, we are waiting for the Question on clause 5.
No, the Hon Member raised an issue and I thought that --
Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Member withdrew his issue. Mr Speaker, I believe he withdrew and said that he would come in at the appropriate time.
I did not hear that from him. Hon Member, have you withdrawn the issue that you were raising?
Mr Speaker, that is so.
It should be on record. So, in the absence of any further discussions on it, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 5 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clauses 6 and 7 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 8 -- Meetings of members of the Board.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8, subclause (3), line 1, delete “eight” and insert “seven” and in line 2, after “Board” delete all the words up to end of the subclause.
“The quorum at a meeting of the Board is seven members of the Board or a greater number determined by the Board in respect of a particular matter”.
Mr Speaker, I just wonder if we are setting “seven” as the quorum of the Board, and we are also giving power to the Board to determine a high number. Mr Speaker, does it mean that the Board can say that --
Hon Member, it is from the first “Board”. The amendment is to delete the rest from the first Board.
All right, Mr Speaker. It was because I deleted it from the second “Board”; it was not clear.
Yes, I realised that. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8, subclause (4), line 2, after “Board” insert “other than the Chief Executive Officer”.
Yes, but can you now tell us the current clause 8 (4)? This is because you only inserted “other than the Chief Executive Officer”.
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be: “The chairperson shall preside at meetings of the Board and in the absence of the Chairperson, a member of the Board other than the Chief Executive Officer elected by the members present from among their number shall preside.”
Hon Chairman, the rendition does not look elegant. You should please read it again.
Mr Speaker, the new rendition reads: “The chairperson shall preside at meetings of the Board and in the absence of the Chairperson, a member of the Board other than the Chief Executive Officer elected by the members present from among their number shall preside.” Mr Speaker, I believe it situates very well. If I stand by your directives --
Hon Chairman, it looks very clumsy. Hon Chairman, we would put the Question, but call on the draftsperson to re-look at that one. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 8 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 9 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 10 -- Establishment of committees
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, subclause (1), line 2, delete “or non-members or both” and insert “and non-members”. So, the new rendition would be: “The Board may establish com- mittees consisting of members of the Board and non-members to perform a function of the Board.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, add the following new subclause: “(2) A committee of the Board shall be chaired by a member of the Board”. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 10 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clauses 11 to 13 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 14 -- Functions of the Chief Executive Officer.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 14, subclause (2), line 3, delete “from” and insert “of”. So, the new rendition would be: “The Chief Executive Officer may delegate a function to an officer not below the rank of a Director of the Authority but shall not be relieved of ultimate responsibility for the performance of the delegated function.” Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 14 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 15 -- Secretary to the Board
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (2), paragraph (b), delete and insert “(b) perform such other functions that the Board may in writing direct”.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (2), paragraph (b), delete “that”, insert “as”, so that it reads: “… perform such other functions as the Board may in writing direct.”
Hon Chairman, I thought I could see --
Mr Speaker, I believe this is a further amendment to the amendment that I proposed. Instead of the word “that” in the sentence that I read, we are to make it “as”. It would read: “… perform such other functions as the Board may in writing direct.”
So, you have no objection.
It sounds convincing, but I believe I should have consulted the drafting section to see whether the style of drafting would not go with “that”.
Hon Chairman, I saw that you had changed the rendition from “performing any other function” to “performing such other functions”. So, once you took away “any” and brought in the word “such”, it gives room for “that” to move for “as”. That is why the proposed amendment --
Mr Speaker, I am grateful. I associate myself with the amendment proposed.
Hon Quashigah, I saw you on your feet.
Mr Speaker, it was about the same thing. This matter came up during the consideration of the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017, and the House generally agreed on “that” as opposed to “as”. As you have rightly mentioned, that is what it ought to be. I am sure the Hon Chairman, probably, must have lost trend of the discussion on that day.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman always argued that we had done the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 and the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017. If he accepts this further amendment, what effect would this have on the two Bills that we had already worked on? So, if he wants consistency, then he should tell us which way to go. If we agree on this, it means that if they did not agree with the two previous ones, we would have to go back and work on them. So, the Hon Chairman should come up.
Mr Speaker, that would not be a difficulty. If the right thing is “as”, we must do the right thing, and we can always do a Second Consideration at the appropriate time to do the correction.
I recognise Hon Yieleh Chireh, who has some expertise in this area.
Mr Speaker, we are making three separate laws, and in each of them, we would have to look at the context in which it is done. I believe we can change it because it is appropriate as you have directed. It would not change what is in the previous ones.
Actually, going through the Votes and Proceedings, that was what was moved when you considered the Middle Belt Development Bill, 2017. It is the same. It was changed from “that” to “as”, and that was agreed upon by the House. So, it is the same thing that is being repeated here. I just crosschecked from the Votes and Proceedings, and it was changed from ‘that' to ‘as'. The sentence there reads the same and as follows: “perform such other functions as the Board in writing, may direct”. So, that is not different from our earlier decision, therefore, I will proceed to put the Question. Yes, Hon Chairman?
Mr Speaker, I have the Votes and Proceedings of the 12th of October, 2017, and on this very paragraph, the amendment that was proposed at paragraph 37 reads as follows clause 15, -- amendment proposed -- subclause (2), paragraph (b), delete and insert. “(b) perform such other functions that the Board may, in writing direct”.
Hon Chairman, which of the Bills are you looking at? You looked at the first Bill, which was the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017.
Yes, the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017.
Yes, but I referred to the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017.
Mr Speaker, so, as the Hon Deputy Minority Leader has said, we would have to do a Second Consideration Stage with the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017, if we have to change this one also to ‘as'. I remember we considered the ‘as'. So I associate myself with that and then we would do the Second Consideration Stage for the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, at what stage are we on the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017?
Mr Speaker, the Northern Development and the Middle Belt Development Bills, 2017, we have passed the Consideration Stage and it is most likely, that especially, with the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017, there would be a Second Consideration Stage.
That is good. I wanted to be sure that we have not done the Third Reading. So, I will put the Question on your proposed amendment first before the whole clause. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 15 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clauses 16 to18 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 19— Funds of the Authority.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 19, paragraph (b), line 1, delete “from” and insert “allocated for”, and in line 2, delete “Project” and insert “Programme”. So, the new rendition would read; “The Funds of the Authority shall include moneys allocated for the infrastructure for poverty eradication programme”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 19, paragraph (i), before “internally” insert “any other”. The new rendition would read; “(i) any other internally generated funds of the Authority”.
This is very simple. It was done in the earlier Bills. So, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 19 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Hon Chairman of Committee, there is no proposed amendment at clauses 20 and 21. Clauses 20 and 21 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 22? Clause 22— Borrowing powers.
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 22, subclause (2), delete.
Amendment has been moved for the deletion of subclause (2) of clause 22.
Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman did not offer any reason for deleting the whole subclause. Is he saying that we do not need the Hon Minister for Finance to approve it?
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, if I remember correctly the other day, the Hon Member for Wa West, Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh argued that clause 22 (1) would have taken care of clause 22 (2). That was what we considered. That clause 22 (2) was already embedded in clause 22 (1), therefore it becomes superfluous that is why we are deleting it.
I recall that we had to refer to the Financial Management Act, and that is covered there, so, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 22 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 23? Clause 23 -- Exemption from taxes, duties, fees and other charges.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 23, subclause (1), at end add “as the Minister responsible for Finance may determine with the prior approval of Parliament.” The new rendition would read; “The Authority is exempt from the payment of taxes, duties, fees and other charges as the Minister responsible for Finance may determine with prior approval of Parliament.”
This was earlier accepted with regard to the other Bills. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 23, subclause (3), delete. The Leadership of the Minority Caucus demands why? For the other two Bills, we argued extensively and came to the conclusion that if they are to pay taxes, duties, et cetera , which are to be determined by Parliament, then clause 23 (3) is not necessary. The other reason was that we would not want the situation where the local authorities would be denied some remuneration when they need it. If they need to get some waivers, then it must go through Parliament. That is why the House agreed that we delete clause 23 (3).
I recall that vividly. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 23 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clauses 24 and 25 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 26 -- Annual reports and other reports.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, subclause (2), paragraph (b), delete and insert the following: “(b) a performance report”.
Mr Speaker, is the Chairman saying that ‘performance report' replaces all that is in paragragh (b)? Secondly, if you talk about ‘audit' in the Annual Report, even the Audit Report should include the financial performance and whether it was properly done. So, why are we separating ‘performance' as a different report? It should not be. It should just be ‘a report' and not ‘a report of the activities of the Authority'.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, I had to pause because I did not know whether it had earlier been agreed on by this House. Reading through clause 26 (2) (b), it goes beyond the issue of “performance report”. Would you want to take all that out because it would be difficult to implement?
Mr Speaker, save that the House agreed that the Performance Report would replace not only clause 26 (b) but subclause 26 (c), (d) and (e). I do not have any further explanation. This was proposed by the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee. If he would want to speak to that.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, a report on the impact of the operations of the Authority, including development strategy on the Coastal Development Zone. Impact -- I do not know how many Performance Audit Reports go to the extent of giving us the impact of the policies that are usually implemented. If you talk about quantitative and qualitative assessment of the targets, feedback and others, are they usually captured in “performance audit reports”? Let me go back and listen to Hon Quashigah before I come to Hon Kwabena Donkor.
Mr Speaker, during our retreat, we considered the fact that these days, we even have performance audits which are similar to performance reports after we did some search. We observed that it actually takes care of the entire performance of the entity. For instance, the qualitative, quantitative and the impact of the activities on that particular entity. Also, what objectives it has set for itself and what it intends to achieve at the end of the day. All these are captured within a Performance Report. Also, it makes room for assessment of feedback and that was the reason we proposed that for us to have all these lengthy explanations in the Bill, why not give it an omnibus approach, that is, to have a Performance Audit Report, instead of outlining them one after the other as was captured in the Bill. This was partly the reason for which we proposed the words “performance report” instead of having all that in the Bill. Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr Speaker, under the Internal Audit Agency Act, the requirement for a performance report is set out and it also sets out what goes into a performance report. Mr Speaker, the Committee was of the opinion that the provisions in that Act would take care of what had been rendered earlier in the Bill, that was why we thought it should be replaced by the words “performance report”, but a “performance
Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Speaker, if we look at any audit report -- one would do an audit report of an institution and may have the monetary aspects of embezzlements or misappropriation, et cetera. There is also the performance report. They are all audit reports and clause I deals with that. Mr Speaker, the reason we should not delete clause 26(2)(b) is, that, they are new creations that we would want to make. So, we would definitely want to find out after some time whether they would make any impact or we should dissolve them and allow the Coordinating Councils to continue with what they have done. This one was properly couched and put there for us to always access. Otherwise, we would create so many institutions that may or may not have any impact. Or we may just give jobs to people. Mr Speaker, that is why I believe, this particular paragraph (b), should remain as it is and should not be changed.
Mr Speaker, I would have loved it if the Hon Colleague had said that a “performance report” is inclusive of what originally is stated in paragraph (b). Mr Speaker, the Committee was of the view that a “performance report” covers all the items listed in paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) and they were deleted in the other Bills and replaced. Mr Speaker, I agree that a report on the impact is important, but what the House had agreed to was that, it is a “performance report” and we do not need to go to the details of the performance report and that was why we captured it with one clause; “a performance report”. Mr Speaker, if it is not a performance report -- I stand to be corrected. If what is listed originally in paragraph (b) is not a “performance report”, then we would need to actually give a second consideration to what has been proposed by the Hon Member. Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Hon Members, my attention has been drawn to the issue of consistency which has been done in the earlier Bills, but truly, I have my reservations. Hon Member, you referred to the Internal Audit Agency Act, and that Act has a remit. So, the performance report was defined in that Act according to the remit of the Act. Now, you would want to establish Authorities and you want the “performance report” to be defined in terms of what has been defined in the Internal Audit Agency Act. In paragraph (a) too, there is a report of the Auditor-General. Definitely, we would have other duplications or we would leave some aspects that the Authority is meant to consider. This is because we do not want to just establish a “white elephant”. We would want to be able to assess whether those Authorities would make any impact on the living conditions of the people in those areas or not. It is not a matter of infrastructure, but how that is translated to the benefit of the people. That is why it is so detailed so that the report would capture those items that are detailed there. Since the House had early on taken position on it, I may be persuaded to put the Question on the issue of consistency. If the Committee, later on considers that there is the need for us to relook at those since we have not yet passed them, why not, we can always relax our rules and look at it again. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, subclause (2), paragraph (c), delete Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, subclause (2), paragraph (d), delete Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, subclause (2), paragraph (e), delete Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, subclause (2), paragraph (f), subparagraph (iv), delete and insert the following: “the cost of projects executed by the Authority; and”. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 26 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 27 — Incentives for private sector.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27 -- Headnote, delete “for private sector” Mr Speaker, so, the headnote would now read, “Incentives”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27, subclause (1), delete and insert the following: (1) The Authority may “(a) extend support to the private sector, public sector, philanthropic investments and non-profit making organisations in the Coastal Development Zone either alone or in co-operation with other public agencies so as to promote accelerated economic develop- ment; and (b) institute measures for the protection of the private sector in the Coastal Development Zone.”
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the amendment. Thinking through, I just realised I can propose a further amendment to the amendment by taking out the word, “economic” to read as follows: “(a) extend support to the private sector, public sector, philan- thropic investments and non- profit making organisations in the Coastal Development Zone either alone or in co-operation with other public agencies so as to promote accelerated develop- ment; and” Mr Speaker, we often tend to look at development only from an economic spectacle. But this ‘Development Authority' also has a social mandate; the elevation, eradication or even the minimisation of poverty among others. So, we removed the word “economic” and took “development” holistically, it would enhance the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I support the further amendment. This is because we should not qualify it with “economic”. It should just be “development”. If we also look at the title of this whole ‘Authorities,' it says, “Development Authorities”. It does not say, “Economic Development Authorities”.
Yes, I totally agree with them, but we need to look at the earlier ones. This is because we did not consider that under the earlier Bills. I saw Hon Dr Appiah-Kubi on his feet.
Mr Speaker, I wanted to propose another amendment to the proposed amendment.
Who is going to speak on this proposed amendment before we come to his? If there are no further considerations on that, then, we would take yours.
Mr Speaker, I would like to propose that we delete the word “public” in line 5, to read: “extend support to the private sector, public sector, philanthropic investments and non-profit making organisations in the Coastal Development Zone either alone or in co-operation with other agencies so as to promote accelerated development; and” Mr Speaker, this is because it could be possible for the Government to co-operate with, not only public agencies but also with all other agencies to promote accelerated development in the Development Zone.
What other agencies are you talking about?
Mr Speaker, it could be private agencies which may team up with the Government to promote accelerated development. It could even be Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) — philanthropic organisations.
Mr Speaker, I will oppose the Hon Member who just spoke about the amendment because we want to distinguish between public agencies, which would need the co-operation of these Development Authorities to work closely. Mr Speaker, apart from that if we look at the subclause (d), it specifically talks about the private sector, so if we wanted an amendment to incorporate his words there, fine. This is because we want to distinguish between public agencies and the private sector. Mr Speaker, if we come to the private sector, there are not many agencies that are private sector agencies, in the term that we use in our vocabulary. This is because we have, Ministries, Departments and Agencies which are public, but this co-operation we need is for the public institutions to co-operate with the Development Authority.
Hon Dr Appiah-Kubi, the issue raised here is that, we are expecting the Authority to extend support, either alone or together with other public agencies. So, you are now saying the support government should extend should be together with other private sector agencies. But that is not the intention. The support is coming from the public sector, so the Authorities could do it alone or in co-operation with other public sector agencies.
Mr Speaker, it could also be in co-operation with other philanthropic agencies. For instance, NGOs or even development partners. That could also be possible — [Pause]
I thought the intention was to get State agencies — public agencies to co-operate with the Authorities because, usually they do not want to do so. That is the intention. It does not talk about the private sector agencies. The private sector agencies really need support, even when they are charitable organisations. This is because, if we do not support the charitable organisations and create the right environment, they would not even come in at all. So, I believe that to extend it to all other agencies -- I would have a problem with defining ‘sector' as ‘agencies.' This is because the word “agency” has been defined and I do not think it covers the private sector when we are dealing with this area. But it is for the consideration of the House.
Mr Speaker, the internment of the Bill in the opening paragraph of the Memorandum states, and I beg to quote: “The object of the Bill is to provide for the establishment of the Coastal Development Authority to provide a framework for accelerated economic and social development of constituencies and areas in the Greater Accra Region, the Central Region, the Western Region and the Volta Region of the country.” Mr Speaker, I tend to look at the definition of “economic development”, and it cures the quest of the Hon Member for Pru East to delete “economic” from that subclause.
“The process by which a nation improves the economic, political and social wellbeing of its people. Whereas economic development is a policy intervention and endeavour with aims of economic and social wellbeing of people, economic growth, and it is a phenomenon of market productivity and gives rise to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
Mr Speaker, social development focuses on the need to put people first in every activity. Therefore, historically, we have had a situation where the emphasis had been on “economic development”. But for practitioners, “economic and social development” are two distinct arms of the same development challenge. Therefore, if we also re-emphasise on only “economic development” particularly when the object of the Authority relates to economic and social development, then we would be short-changing one arm of the development paradigm. So, we either bring in “economic and social development” to go with the objects of the Authority or we take out “economic” and leave it at “development” to encompass both. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I am inclined to side with Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor that we delete “economic” or include “social” in that clause. The reason being that “development” is more comprehensive than economic and as my Hon Colleague said, it encompasses both social and economic. Mr Speaker, a definition was given by my Hon Colleague, Hon Boamah. I do not know where he got that definition from but I do not believe it is the correct definition for “economic development”. Mr Speaker, so, it is either we delete “economic” or we include “social” in that clause.
Hon Members, let me listen to the Hon Chairman of the Committee to see whether he has -- Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, even though the economists are arguing that we should do away with the word “economic”, I may want to refer Hon Members to a part of the memorandum. The second paragraph of the memo- randum reads: “Despite the country's middle- income status resulting from the steady expansion of the economy, development of the country is increasingly becoming unequal, as the benefits of economic growth are not equally distributed across the country, while poverty remains prevalent in many areas. Even though there is a significant decline in poverty at the national level, there are wide disparities across regions and between the urban and rural citizenry.” Mr Speaker, I believe this is the mischief the Bill seeks to cure and to do away with the word “economic”, which the Bill seeks to promote, I am not comfortable. The addition of “social” to the “economy” sounds convincing but I do not think that it is going to tilt the Bill any major side. If my Hon Colleague would agree with me that it is minor, I would say that because we have already dealt with two similar Bills without the word “social”, he might think of withdrawing his amendment so that we can proceed. If not, then he would have to move it at the Second Consideration Stage to amend the earlier Bills that we had considered.
Mr Speaker, I would opt for us to add “social” at the Second Consideration Stage. If we look at the object of the Authority, clause 2 (a) says: “(a) accelerate economic and social development ...”. It is a longstanding debate and argument among practitioners that too often, we put economic development ahead of social development and quite often, totally ignore social development. Mr Speaker, the beginning part of the memorandum quoted by the Hon Chairman of the Committee is a social problem. It that ‘notwithstanding the advancement of economic development in the areas, there is a problem with distribution. Such is more social than economic. Therefore, it would be apt if we added the “social” to the “economic”. If we want to maintain “economic”, let us just say “social and economic development”. Mr Speaker, we can address that in the earlier two Bills at the Second Consideration Stage if we carry out this one.
I can only guide the House and I am inclined to support the view of the Hon Member for Pru East, Dr Kwabena Donkor. This is because, I believe that is actually the thrust of this Bill. The thrust of the Bills that we have passed is to address the social inequality and not only the economic inequality. That is what is being argued in the memorandum; so I am tempted to go with the Hon Member. Since we have not had the Third Reading of those Bills, we may consider deleting the word “economic” because we also have spatial development and so many types of developments. So, we would just deal with all the developments together, instead of focusing on the ‘economic' aspects. In social aspects, it is true that some are economic but it is not all social developments that are economic developments. That is my humble opinion, Hon Chairman of the Committee. I am just guiding the House, so do not take decisions on such matters. What I can do is if the Hon Chairman of the Committee insists, is to put the Question.
Mr Speaker, save to add that, economic interventions when made, would obviously make an impact on social aspects.
If a definition of economic development is inclusive of social, I do not -- my Hon Colleague read the definition of economic development. That is the reason, personally, I am not persuaded that we need to go to the nitty gritties. Otherwise, we would pick social development and we would look at the meaning of ‘social interventions' and we would go on and on.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, you are aware that gender includes male and female. But we always focus on females for good reasons. Hon Members, I would put the Question as proposed by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. If the decision of the House is to maintain what the Hon Chairman of the Committee proposed, so be it. If it is that we should at least do a bit of rendition by admitting the “economic” as proposed by the Hon Dr Donkor, we would take that one.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor's attention that if he is mindful of carrying his amendment through, I would rather pray that he waits till we get to the Second Consideration Stage so we could be consistent in all the Bills. When we start with the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017, he would move it at a Second Consideration Stage, then we would do similarly --
Hon Chairman of the Committee, at the Consideration Stage, we relax the rules. So, one does not need to give notice. We have done it a number of times and that is what he just did. There is nothing wrong with that. That is why I said I would put the Question, but it would be your amendment because it comes from the Committee and it is moved by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. So, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 27 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 28 -- Public consultation and notice
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 28, subclause (1), line 1, delete “may” and insert “shall” and also after “consultations” insert “in all relevant communities” and in line 3, delete “may” and insert “shall”. So, Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be: “The Authority shall hold public consultations within the Coastal Development Zone relating to a major project that the Authority plans to implement and shall take into account comments received from the consultations in all relevant communities in making the final implementation decision.”
Hon Members, there has been a further amendment to the proposed amendment and this is to delete the word “committees” and insert “communities”. I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 28, subclause (2), delete and insert the following: “The Authority shall, not less than seven days before the public consultations, publish in the Gazette and at least one daily newspaper of national circulation, a notice containing the details of the project and the assessment by the Authority of the social and economic impact of the project.”
Hon Members, before I put the Question, let me say that in view of the Business of the House, I extend Sitting beyond the prescribed period of 4.00 p.m. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 28 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 29 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Available Majority Leader, I can get the sense of the House. What is your pleasure?
Mr Speaker, I believe we have done very well, but if we look at the clauses that are left, if the House would not mind, we should just speed up and finish them.
It is because the House is mindful, that is why I am drawing your attention. I say this because I do not hear the “ayes” and “noes” and I do not want to be the one taking the decisions. It is the House which should be taking the decisions and not the Speaker.
Mr Speaker, you would realise that most of the clauses are not controversial and as the Chairman just said, silence sometimes means consent.
Hon Member, this is a House of record and so, silence cannot be recorded.
Mr Speaker, I think we would give you the response at the appropriate time. If you would not mind, let us proceed.
Are you sure you have energised your Members?
Mr Speaker, they are very much energised.
I see a lot of them present but I do not hear them.
Mr Chairman -- [Interruption] -- you would hear them.
Sorry, I am the Speaker.
Sorry, Mr Speaker, you would hear them very soon.
Available Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, looking at the time, I believe tiredness has set in so we could adjourn and continue tomorrow.
Hon Members, I think we are left with only three clauses. Let us try and endure to finish the consideration. Are we together? [Interruption.] - Could I proceed and put the Question on clause 29? Have I already done so? Yes, so, we move on to clause 30. Clause 30 -- Guidelines
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclause (1), paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), delete. The new rendition would read: “The Board shall, in consultation with the Minister publish Guidelines in respect of operational procedure that the Board considers ne- cessary.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclause (2), delete.
Hon Member, what did you say?
Mr Speaker, I am coming to the reason --
Hon Member, you preceded by saying what?
Mr Speaker, I was up but you did not recognise me. You did not catch my body's eye -- [Laughter.]
You did not catch my eye. It is not that I did not recognise you. This is because, I know you very well, so, I could recognise you but you did not catch my eye.
Mr Speaker, this is a technical term; “recognise you”. When you are chairing and someone raises his hand, you say, ‘I recognise this man' and he speaks. Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that --
On the floor of the House, we “catch the eye of”, we do not “recognise”.
Mr Speaker, all right. Mr Speaker, they are interrupting me but the reason I am saying so is that, when you ask somebody to publish guidelines, we need to specify the areas that he should publish. But in this one, we just said that they should publish guidelines, guidelines for what? It must be specified. Secondly, when we look at this one here, there are issues which they need to issue Guidelines on because they are Developing Authorities. The Hon Chairman said that we should delete subclauses (a) (b) and (c) and we have done that. Then he said that we should delete the whole of subclause (2) and leave; the following: “The Board shall, in consultation with the Minister, publish guidelines in respect of operational procedure that the Board considers ne- cessary”. That is too omnibus, because if the Board wants to do anything and they do not publish it in the guidelines, anybody could say: Why are they doing this? But these are routine things that the Board should do. Mr Speaker, if we have particular matters as specified in this, then we would have to publish the Guidelines. We have had similar problems about the Electoral Commission performing its functions based on law, but people said that they have not, according to article 9 -- et cetera, published the guidelines. So, we need to be careful about it. I would not agree that we delete everything there; we may have to look at it again.
Hon Chairman, you heard him. Your proposal would not guide the Board on the details to be contained in the Guidelines that are to be published.
Mr Speaker, we have this challenge because of the order.
We have the challenge because of the order?
Mr Speaker, the order of arrangement. Clause 31 is Regulations. Ideally, ‘Regulations' should have come before ‘Guidelines' but because we have ‘Regulations', Regulations would set the framework, therefore the Guidelines would only be to explain or further expand on the ‘Regulations'. That is why we do not need a long list of what should be in the Guidelines because the Regulations would already take care of that.
Let me listen to the Hon Chairman before I come to you.
Mr Speaker, I have been learning from my Senior Hon Member --
There are so many Seniors here, which of them?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Wa West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh. I have always been learning from him, especially when it comes to law making. I would want to remind the Hon Member that this amendment is necessary because we would want to avoid the situation where the Authority would not come to Parliament but they would make laws through the Guidelines. This is because operational procedures and Guidelines would not be approved by Parliament. They would just issue them and we would not want to give them the power that is why we wanted to - If there is anything, it should be by Regulation, then they would bring it before Parliament. Mr Speaker, indeed, that was the main reason.
Mr Speaker, I agree with the idea. So, in my view, because of what they have said, I would have even gone further to say that, we should delete the whole of clause 30 so that we do not have any Guidelines to formulate. This is because most of the things that we would want to be formulated would be in the Legislative Instrument (L.I.) and that would be better. But I am saying that, if we put this in the law and the Board decides to do something, somebody would say that despite the Regulations, it is provided for under clause 30 that they should issue guidelines. Do you understand? So, we are tying ourselves, even though they may just be routine things that the Board would try to carry out. So, further to what we are saying, if we had agreed, we should delete the whole of clause 30. This is because, this is not one of the institutions like the Bank of Ghana (BoG) or any other big institution that would from time to time issue guidelines. Financial or tax institutions and courts issue such things. But here, I say that if we put it there and they want to carry out routine resource management issues, they would ask where the Guidelines are. Mr Speaker, so we should consider that very seriously, but I agree with him that we do not need to put all these things in the Bill.
Hon Chairman, this is a new development about us legislating on guidelines and not just Regulations. It has gone beyond Regulations and we are now talking about Guidelines. Is there any explanation for that?
Mr Speaker, the Guidelines is not simpliciter but it is in respect of operational procedures that the Board considers necessary. I think we should allow the Authority to have guidelines for just operational procedures.
Well, I said that it is a new development. Before that, we used to just talk about ‘Regulations' but that did not prevent the various Authorities or Agencies from
Mr Speaker, Guidelines have been with us for a while. For example, Act 821 of the Petroleum Commission Act has provisions for Guidelines. The essence of Guidelines is to also make for standardisation particular --
I am not talking about the essence, I am talking about us legislating on it. It has usually been guidelines, but now, we are talking about it in the laws. Maybe, something might have happened that people only issue regulations and do not go beyond it, but there is the need for them to be more specific by coming out with Guidelines. Maybe that has not happened, that is why we are now being called upon to legislate. That is what I would want to know. Is that the case?
Mr Speaker, by this law, we are only making provision for guidelines. Some institutions would challenge the right to even issue guidelines and we saw this, especially in the upstream petroleum sector. So, having this in the law gives us a cover. Mr Speaker, for example, when we expect data from a number of agencies, the Guidelines would make it possible for us to specify the format of the data; how the data should be presented. We cannot do that under Regulations because of constant changes in data formats, et cetera. Mr Speaker, institutions that are litigation prone would question the authority to even issue the guidelines. But having that in the law -- though I know that guidelines are not legally binding, having the legal provision that we could issue guidelines would go a long way towards compliance.
Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Hon Members, in discussing this issue, we would have to look at article 11 -- laws of Ghana. Therefore, the issue of the legal effects of guidelines -- if one fails to comply with a guideline, what are the legal sanctions? Hon Chireh?
Mr Speaker, I believe you have guided the Hon Chairman sufficiently by saying that there are so many authorities that we do not put in their laws, but when they want to do anything then they are free to issue guidelines. That is normal. If we want someone to issue guidelines, then we want it to have some effects. What is the effect? As the Hon Minority Chief Whip said earlier, that once it is the Authority that issued guidelines -- Mr Speaker, but I am saying that, a Tax Commissioner, a court or a financial institution like the Bank of Ghana would issue directives and so on and they have the effect of law. But as the Hon Ranking Member explained, if we want them to present something in a format, then a guideline would be issued and we do not need to legislate it. That is all what Mr Speaker tried to emphasise. We have so many institutions that issue guidelines all the time, and if they are not obeyed, nobody would be taken anywhere.
Mr Speaker, I appreciate the arguments that have been made, except to say that the way it is couched -- we have gone through these arguments in the previous Bills and saw the need to do away with subclause (1) (a), (b), (c) and subclause (2). But if we read the wording of clause 30 (1), it is only looking at guidelines in respect of operational procedure. I am of the view that if we should do away with subclause (1), the Authority would not have the power to issue guidelines in respect of operational procedure, which in my view is only administrative. So, in future, if the Authority should issue such guidelines, then, any person could take them to court and say that they do not have the locus to come out with a guideline. That is why I think that at least there is the need to limit them but give them the power to be able to do it. If they do not have the authority and they issue the guideline, then another person could take them on and say that they do not even have the mandate to come out with guidelines, therefore, what they have done is unconstitutional. Mr Speaker, so, in my view, we have limited them enough and that is only administrative and they cannot go beyond that.
Hon Chairman, are guidelines administrative or legislative?
Mr Speaker, with respect, to the extent that it is only in respect of operational procedure, then I would say that it is administrative.
Hon Chairman, you know that when something is administrative, it does not have the same effect as when it is legislative? You are talking about people questioning the legal basis for the issuance of guidelines, so what about when we legislate and they do not issue the guidelines? What is the legal effect?
Mr Speaker, if they do not issue the guidelines, the legal effect is -- They have the right and if they do not use it, that is all right. Mr Speaker, but if we do not create it then they would not have the right to do it when the need arises. So, I think it is very necessary. Mr Speaker, Regulations are different from guidelines. So, if we say that guidelines have never existed or we have never made a law that had given a body the mandate to come out with guidelines, then that would be a separate argument and I would admit that. Mr Speaker, but at least, if other authorities and bodies are given the power to come out with guidelines, with this one, we have limited the power to only the operational procedure. In my view, if we do not create it then they would never have the capacity to do it even if the need arises.
I do not know whether we need to keep on debating this matter. Hon Chireh?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman ties himself when he is arguing. He says that we must put it there so that they could have the power to do it, but they could choose not to do it. We are saying that already, there are institutions that have no such provisions but they issue guidelines and people obey. If the National Communications Authority (NCA) wants to engage people they would issue guidelines but we cannot find in the Act any guidelines. We said that it is easier for us not to have -- but once we are arguing for legality, that is why I am saying that we must put it here. So, if we put it here then you are now saying that it carries the effect of law so we would say that send it to Legislative Instrument (L.I).
Mr Speaker, I would propose that we flag it, and I would do further --
Let me listen to Hon Dr Appiah-Kubi. [Interruption.] Hon Member, were you addressing the Chair?
Mr Speaker, I was not addressing the Chair. Mr Speaker, I believe the essence of a Board is to assist Management to issue operational guidelines. I do not know whether a Board would need extra legal powers to be able to issue such operational guidelines. I believe that to issue guidelines in addition to Legislative Instruments would be too much. If we do not take care, we might require interpretation for both and might run into the risk of probably having difficulties interpreting these two Instruments.
I raised the issue because I do not want us to equate Guidelines with Regulations. I believe Guidelines flow from Regulations. They do not flow from Acts. That is what we have done, and that is why I have raised that issue. Yes, Hon Member for Effutu?
And normally --
Sorry, are you still on your feet?
Mr Speaker, yes, I am still on my feet. Mr Speaker, what we use to operationalise an Act of Parliament is the Legislative Instrument, if it is detailed enough, it is sufficient to cover some of these operational procedures. I would side with the Hon Yieleh Chireh, that we drop the whole clause because it is no more necessary, and concentrate on issuing Legislative Instruments to operationalise this Act of Parliament.
Yes, Hon Member for Effutu? After that, I might go by the proposal by the Hon Chairman.
Hon Deputy Minister, I thought we were going to go by the proposal from the Hon Chairman that we should flag this. This is not the first time that we have been confronted with this clause. I think it is the same clause in the earlier Bills, but the House did not advert its mind to it, and we allowed them to pass through. So, the Hon Chairman is guided by the principle of consistency. I believe that is where we are, but it is important for us to flag it. I do not want us to jump and promote guidelines to the status of regulations. I think ‘guidelines' should be subsidiary to ‘regulations'. They should not emanate from Acts, statutes. We could consider that later. So, I would agree that we flag clause 30 and move on to clause 31. Clause 31 -- Regulations
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 31, sub-clause (1), delete and insert the following: “The Minister shall on the advice of the Board and within one year after the coming into force of this Act by Legislative Instrument, make Regulations to prescribe generally for the effective implementation of this Act”
Well, the same issue is here. For consistency, we passed this before. Even though I raised an issue about what would happen if the Hon Minister fails to come out with a Legislative Instrument within the one year, what happens? Would you proceed to sanction the Minister? But the House decided otherwise, and so -- Hon Member for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, anytime we would want to consider this Bill, we are reminded of what has already been discussed and accepted, but we could have made a mistake in those earlier ones. This particular provision here is not the one that we should consider because the last part is always the last of the list that we could have. The last part of the sentence; make regulations to prescribe generally for the effective implementation of this Act. Then, for instance, we have under clause 31, paragraph (a) to (f), after paragraph (f), we could have then said, “and anything that would be to the effective implementation of this Act”. We have brought this one up to affect only the subclause (1), but that should not be the case. Mr Speaker, if we would want the Hon Minister to bring the Regulations in a year 's time, we should provide substantively for it. We must put it there, that for this Bill, we would want the Regulations to come in six months time or after a year, so that it becomes mandatory. If someone wants to be an Hon Minister, but he or she does not want to bring the Regulations, then there is a problem. To put it within the regulations does not add any value. In any case, the last part of what he read should have been a separate paragraph at the end of -- and that should have been paragraph (g), so that anything that gives effect to the implementation of the Act -- but it has just been encapsulated in the opening paragraph. How? Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I have heard the arguments, but I did not get the proposal. If the Hon Member has a proposal worth considering --
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, that was why we wanted to refresh ourselves, because we are getting tired. After I have explained it, the Hon Chairman cannot remember. [Laughter.] What would I say for him to remember? Mr Speaker, let us step down these two clauses until tomorrow. This is because some Hon Members have come in fresh, and they always get up to waste our time. So, please, I get you.
Hon Member, I think it is simply clause 31, subclause (1), line 1, delete “may” and insert “shall”. It is in accordance with all the legislations we have passed. We would not give the Minister the option. We insist that the Hon Minister must come out with Regulations; it is mandatory. I have a problem with prescribing the period within which the Hon Minister should come with the Regulations, . This is because we all know how Regulations are drafted. They are not drafted by Hon Ministers; they have to go through the whole process of the Public Service in that sector before they come to the Hon Minister. The Hon Minister would have to put up memoranda and send them to Cabinet. Cabinet would then have to go through them and send it to the Hon Attorney- General and Minister for Justice. They would go through it and send it back to the Ministry, and the Ministry would have to send it back to Cabinet before they go through and approve it. It is a long process. By this you would tie the hands of the Hon Ministers to do it within one year. Failure to do it, what happens? We cannot just legislate in futility; we know that we cannot enforce the law. I have a problem with that. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, indeed, that was not the original rendition. This House thought it wise to make this proposal in the earlier Bills. The sense of the House was that a lot of laws had been made with similar provisions that the Hon Minister may make Legislative Instru- ments (L.Is).
It may not be as a result of the failure of the Hon Minister. It may be as a result of the focus of the Government. Institutions are established, but they are not even given sufficient resources to operate. They cannot even recruit people to do the work. So, it is not as a result of the lack of performance of Hon Ministers. There are a lot of things that you would have to look at. When you legislate this way and the law is not obeyed, you cannot do anything. What is then the way? I have a problem with it. Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?
No, we have not passed any of them. So, we can always go for a Second Consideration Stage.
Yes, Hon Chairman?
Mr Speaker, I have spoken with the Hon Chairman. I thought we could quickly run through and finish; but the few clauses that are left are a little problematic. We would have to do some consultations and look at the previous Bills we have gone through, so, that we do not keep stepping down and coming back. Mr Speaker, if there is nothing on your Table, with your leave and that of the House, I would want to move that, this House stands adjourned till tomorrow at Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, views of the Committee are usually very important. They discuss the referrals with the technical people. That is why we always defer to the Hon Chairman. If there is a good reason to defer from the drafting instructions that they have put down, then they should tell us. When they do not come forth with that good reason, then it is opened to debate. That is why we have debated these matters. The drafting instructions keep changing. When you see a draft Bill from the Attorney-General's Department, there may be some good reasons they do that, but we are not getting that from the Committee. That is something we should cross-check from them. Why the guidelines? Now, we are not just restricted to Regulations; we are upgrading guidelines to a statutory level. What is the reason behind that? Why are we doing that? Let us get the reason before we pass this legislation. They are very important Authorities, and we would want them to be very effective. So, I would agree that we flag these and go over them again, maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Yes, Hon Member for Effutu?
Well, it was a proposed amendment by the Hon Member for Wa West, but the Hon Chairman came in to say that we should flag it. So, I am going by the proposal of the Hon Chairman that we flag it, so that they could then reconsider those clauses.
The reasons are very clear, and I myself, in my guidance, raised some of them for reconsideration. I thought that it was a simple matter, where we would just have to delete “may” and insert “shall”, so that it would read: “the Minister shall on the advice of the Board by a Legislative Instru- ment make regulations generally for the effective implementation of this Act.” We could disagree with the draftspersons by saying “may”. We are not giving the option to the Hon Minister. It is mandatory. For us to restrict it to be done within one year and then go further to add other clauses would be an area of challenge. I believe that there is no harm in flagging it for further consideration, but if the Hon Chairman insists that I should put the Question, then I would put it. I do not want that in the future, somebody might argue, that in the wisdom of the House, we legislated thus; but in the person's humble view, in the lack of wisdom of the House -- I believe we have heard people say that. Yes, Hon Chairman?
Mr Speaker, this is neither coming from the Committee nor is it from me. Mr Speaker, the House actually proposed this amendment earlier. Now, the sense of the House is that we should do a further amendment, and that is why I agree with the Hon Leader that we flag it. We could then do further consultations and come out with the best.
Exactly. So, it was after your submission that I said that we should flag it for future consideration. Now, there was an earlier Motion by the Hon Deputy Majority Whip, who is the Hon Majority Leader in situ, that we take a bow. Hon Members, should I put the Question on that Motion? [Pause] -- Hon Members, I believe that it is time for us to take an adjournment. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned till tomorrow. Thank you, Hon Members, for your patience and endurance.