VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, item numbered 2 on the Order Paper -- Correction of the Votes and Proceedings dated 26th October, 2017. Page 1…12 --
Mr Speaker, I was present yesterday, albeit briefly, but I have been captured as absent and I would like that to be corrected accordingly. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you. Page 13…20 --
Mr Speaker, sorry to draw you back. On page 10, the learned Attorney-General and Minister for Justice -- I believe there is a third name. It is not just “Gloria Akuffo”. So, for the records, her name, as we have it officially -- known and conveyed to this House must reflect in the records.
Hon Member, what is the rendition?
Mr Speaker, she is Gloria Afua Akuffo. So that I do not mistake her for some Gloria Akuffo somewhere. I want to know she is the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.
In fact, even the “lawyer” there is not appropriate. Please, capture the full name of the Hon learned Attorney- General and Minister for Justice and just say “Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo”. You do not need to call her a lawyer in that context. It is a job which only a lawyer can do anyway. Thank you.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I was in the Chamber yesterday, but my name is missing. Thank you.
Thank you. Pages 21…28 --
Mr Speaker, sorry to take you back to page 24. The officials in attendance, the name numbered as (lvi) has been repeated in (lviii), so, if one of the insertions would be deleted. The name is Amy Appiah Frimpong. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you, Hon Member. Pages 28 - 37.
Hon Members, item numbered 3 -- Business Statement for the Fifth Week. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Business Committee?
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Mr Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 26th October, 2017, and arranged Business of the House for the Fifth Week ending Friday, 3rd November, 2017.
Arrangement of Business Formal communications by the Speaker Mr Speaker, you may read commu- nications to the House whenever they are available. Question(s) Mr Speaker, the Business Committee has programmed the following Ministers to respond to Questions asked of them during the week: No. of Question(s) i. Minister for Education -- 6 ii. Minister for Communications -- 5 iii. Minister for the Interior -- 4 iv. Minister for Information -- 1 v. Minister for Trade and Industry -- 5 vi. Minister for Roads and Highways -- 7 Total number of Questions -- 28 Mr Speaker, in all, six (6) Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to twenty-eight (28) Questions during the week. The Questions are of the following types: i. Urgent -- 1; ii. Oral -- 27 Mr Speaker, it is recommended that the time for Questions be strictly observed. Mr Speaker, after the meeting of the Business Committee, some information has come to the Committee in respect of the availability of some Hon Ministers. It may affect a couple of Hon Ministers who, if they are unavailable, may have to be reprogrammed to come to the House to
answer Questions in the ensuing week; I mean the next succeeding week. Statements Mr Speaker, the Business Committee recommends that only Statements of commemorative nature or of urgent public importance and those relating to Government policy be permitted to be made in the House during the week under consideration. This proposal, if adopted, is expected to afford the House ample time to complete other urgent business before prior to the presentation of the Budget and Financial Policy of the Government. Bills, Papers and Reports Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House. Motions and Resolutions Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the Week. Sitting time/Extended Sittings Mr Speaker, the Business Committee hereby informs the House that Sittings shall commence at 10.00 a.m. each day during the week under consideration. Furthermore, the House may have Extended Sittings when required to enable the completion of scheduled business. Conclusion Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week under consideration. Mr Speaker, Hon Members have been given drafts of the Committee's Report, and I would want to inform us that for Tuesday, we have the Hon Minister for Education programmed to come and answer five (5) Questions. Unfortunately, the Hon Minister would be out of the jurisdiction and he has signalled that in respect of some of the Questions that he personally has responsibility for, he would want to, upon his return, come to respond to them. Mr Speaker, so, we shall accordingly have Questions numbered 79 and 126 to be answered by the Hon Deputy Minister for Education. Mr Speaker, in that regard, I discussed with the Table Office, if there are outstanding Questions, especially constituency specific Questions for the Hon Minister for Education-- We would then load them onto the set of Questions for Tuesday for the Hon Minister for Education or whoever he designates would come and respond to those Questions. Mr Speaker, inadvertently, I left out Question 141 which would be answered by the Ministry of Education through the Hon Deputy Minister. So, the Questions programmed for Tuesday that we find on the draft Business Statement, three of them, which are Questions numbered 79, 126 and 141, would be answered. We would look for additional Questions for whoever would be representing the Hon Minister to come and respond to those other Questions. Statements Presentation of Papers -- (i) Framework Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Mauritius for the Development of Technology and Business Parks in Ghana. (ii) First Amendment to the Framework Agreement between th Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Mauritius for the Development of Technology and Business Parks in Ghana. (iii) Credendo-Backed Export Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the ING Bank of Belgium SA/NV for an amount of twenty-five million, three hundred and forty-one thousand, nine hundred and fifty- eight euros (€25,341,958.00) being loan component of the total project cost of thirty-seven million, six hundred and eighty-three thousand, two hundred sixty-six euros (€37, 683,266.00) to finance the Navrongo (Upper East) Water Supply Project. (iv) Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (The World Bank Group) for an amount of thirty-Three million Special Drawing Rights (SDR 33,000,000) [US$45.7 million equivalent] as additional financing for the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project. Presentation and First Reading of Bills Taxation (Use of Fiscal Electronic Device) Bill, 2017. Motions-- Consideration Stage of Bills-- Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017. Committee sittings. Questions-- *59. Dr Clement A. Apaak (Builsa South): To ask the Minister for Communications what steps are being taken to improve mobile telephony in remote parts of Builsa South (i.e. Kalasa, Chansa, Zamsa, and Yepala). *60. Dr Clement A. Apaak (Builsa South): To ask the Minister for Communications what steps are being taken to establish a Community Information Technology Centre at Fumbisi in the Builsa South Constituency. *61. Dr Clement A. Apaak (Builsa South): To ask the Minister for Communications what steps are being taken to establish a Post Office at Fumbisi in the Builsa South Constituency. *62. Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem (Binduri): To ask the Minister for Communications what steps the Ministry is taking to address the situation where districts such as Binduri, Bawku East, Bawku West, Garu, and Pusiga are wrongly captured as Burkina Faso and Togo
by mobile network operators when communicating via mobile phones from such districts. * 8 0 . Mr Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu (Tamale North): To ask the Minister for Communications what remedies exist for customers in Tamale and Sagnarigu who experience call drops, call breaks, network congestion and internal interruptions from telecommunication service providers. *170. Mr Benson Tongo Baba (Talensi): To ask the Minister for Information whether invitation was extended to all media houses, both print and electronic, for the coverage of the President's Meet the Press programme held on 18th July, 2017. Statements Presentation of Papers -- Motions-- Consideration Stage of Bills-- Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 (Continuation) Committee sittings. Urgent Question --
To ask the Minister for the Interior what the Ministry is doing to curb the highway robberies in the Manso Adubia Constituency. Questions -- *152. Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (Nsawam-Adoagyiri): To ask the Minister for the Interior what plans are underway to ensure the payment of deserving compensation to the victims of the Puebo explosion and the implementation of recommendations in the report on the explosion. *153. Mrs Della Sowah (Kpando): To ask the Minister for the Interior what steps are being taken to collaborate with Nigerian counterparts towards preventing criminals like the kidnapper Evans Uchenna, who was reported by the Vanguard news- paper to have used proceeds to buy two houses in Ghana, from doing so. *154. Mr Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu): To ask the Minister for the Interior whether fire safety checks have been undertaken in public high-rise buildings across the country and if not, what steps are being taken in that regard. *182. Mr Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu): To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry what plans are in place to ensure that the people of Kumbungu District benefit from the “One District, One Factory” project to be embarked upon by the Government. *183. Mr Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu): To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry what the Ministry is doing to ensure that national and local government prioritise the purchasing of made in Ghana goods and services. *184. Mr George Kweku Ricketts- Hagan (Cape Coast South): To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry the steps the Ministry is taking to re-start the Komenda Sugar Factory and the development of sugarcane plantations and irrigation through the out-grower scheme. *185. Mr George Kweku Ricketts- Hagan (Cape Coast South): To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry the implementation plan and the start of the “One District, One Factory”. *186. Mr George Kweku Ricketts- Hagan (Cape Coast South): To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether the “Brand Ghana” concept and the “Made-in-Ghana” initiative together with the campaign launched by the Ministry are still being pursued. Statements Presentation of Papers-- Motions-- Consideration Stage of Bills-- Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 (Conclusion of debate) Committee sittings. Questions -- *120. Mr Christian Corletey Otuteye (Sege): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways why the road contractor who is constructing the road from Nakom Korpe to Koluedor is no more on site. *121. Mr Christian Corletey Otuteye (Sege): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways whether there is any plan to work on the road from Sege to Battor which is a very important road. *122. Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum (Fanteakwa South): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the following roads will be rehabilitated and given bituminous surface: (i) Osino to Busoso (ii) Osino to Juaso (iii) Ehiamenkyene to Asedja. *123. Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum (Fanteakwa South): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the road from Abooho through Nkankama to Asesewa, which becomes unmotorable for months every year, will be rehabilitated and given bituminous surface. *124. Mr Kwasi Etu-Bonde (Kintampo North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when work on the following feeder roads in the Kintampo North Constituency will be completed: (i) Ntankoro - Kunsu - Meawani (ii) Techira No. 2 - Nteraban (iii) Ntankoro - Kobeda No. 2. *138. Dr (Mrs) Bernice Adiku Heloo (Hohoe): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways if the Ministry has any plans to construct a motorable road to Wli-Todzi in the Hohoe Municipality. *139. Mr Simon Acheampong Tampi (Tatale/Sanguli): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when work will commence on the Tatale township roads. Statements Presentation of Papers--
Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader. Yes, Hon Quashigah?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would want to relate to “Statements” as captured in the document presented by the Hon Majority Leader. Mr Speaker, I wonder if in this House, we make any Statements other than what the Hon Majority Leader has captured. Mr Speaker, this is because, the Hon Majority Leader said that, if it is adopted, it is expected to afford the House ample time to complete other urgent Business before the House, prior to the presentation of the Budget and the Financial Policy of Government. Mr Speaker, in my view, I do not believe that we make any other Statements other than what the Hon Majority Leader captured, which obviously is also spelt out in Standing Orders 70, 71 and 72. Except the Hon Majority Leader has any other reasons for making this proposal, which I imagine should be given to us. Probably, he would have to give us some clarity. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I wanted the Hon Majority Leader to give us some clarification on the Business for Tuesday. He did indicate that the Hon Minister for Education would be away and upon his return, answer Questions that he is personally responsible for, and I am wondering whether there are aspects of the Ministry of Education that the Hon Minister is not personally responsible for. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Ablakwa?
I am most grateful, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I rise to express similar sentiments as raised by the Hon Member for Keta, Mr Richard Quashigah. Mr Speaker, I believe with the way the presentation has been couched under Statements, an impression is created though sometimes, Statements are made in this House, which are not of urgent public importance or which are not commemorative. Mr Speaker, I believe, it may indict the admissibility and discretion of Mr Speaker, if this is allowed to stay. Once Mr Speaker has admitted a Statement, it should be considered important and worthy of consideration by this House. Mr Speaker, therefore, like the Hon Quashigah said, I would also want to honestly seek further clarification exactly what the Hon Majority Leader meant to convey in that instance. Mr Speaker, with the issue of Questions and Hon Ministers' availability, I believe that moving forward, since there is concern about time, perhaps the Hon Majority Leader should encourage Hon Ministers to use their Deputy Ministers. Mr Speaker, this is because, there is a back log of Questions and we keep shifting them week after week; which really affect Business. We notice that there are so many Questions which do not find space because of the -- Mr Speaker, we know that Hon Ministers are busy, but the House could grant leave to Hon Ministers to utilise their Deputy Ministers, so that the House could make progress and not keep shifting the Questions week after week and day after day. Mr Speaker, at least, we should begin to feel and see the relevance of the one hundred and ten Hon Ministers that this country now has. I believe that for once, we should see some relevance in that regard. Mr Speaker, finally, I would want to remind the Hon Majority Leader that he promised we would receive the Kintampo Waterfall Report, but it has been three months down the line and Mr Speaker's directive that the Report should be available to this House has still not been adhered to. Mr Speaker, I would therefore want to find out from the Hon Majority Leader, if he has any update on the Kintampo Waterfall Report, which this House agreed that it should be made public and brought to this House for consideration. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you, Hon Member. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, I would want to note that I was unable to take part in the Business Committee because as I stepped in at the time that I was given, the quorum was not present yet, and I got caught up in other activities. Mr Speaker, I would want to raise one or two issues. First, conspicuously lost in the Business Statement is the Appointments Committee and its recommendations to plenary of the appointment of Hon Kennedy Nyarko Osei. I think, it should find space there because the Committee met yesterday and accordingly, should get a submission to this House so that we can consider and take a decision on that matter. Relative to it, Mr Speaker, I do know that Parliament is often apprised of Hon Ministers, Hon Deputy Ministers, presidential staffers from the Office of the President. The year is almost ended. We would think that the Office of the President must indicate to Parliament the list of all presidential staffers and the roles that they play, as has happened in the past. Thirdly, Mr Speaker, you guided us on it. The Hon Member for Ashaiman, Hon Norgbey had a Question on national security and we are guided by your advice that we all should demonstrate sensitivity to matters of national security and public interest, noting that the Hon Minister for National Security would appear before the Defence and Interior Committee, supported by Hon Leaders, in order that, we hear him. Mr Speaker, I would want to state strongly that we do not intend that we would hide under the cloak. Some transparency and openness to Parliament and the people's representatives is still important in many of these matters. So, I hope, the Hon Majority Leader would take note of the Appointments Committee. Also, I am told, that the Table Office would re-align the Questions for the Hon
Mr Speaker, today, in response to the presentation of the Business Statement, my Hon Colleague, Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa was not visible; he was not the first to rise. I looked at his direction to see whether he would rise first. I guess he was directed to hold his horses for other Hon Members to intervene first. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member, my good Friend the Hon Member for Keta, Mr Quashigah, wanted to know if there are any other matters beyond what I have stated on the draft. Mr Speaker, yes indeed, and he related to Order 72 of the Standing Orders. If he reads Standing Order 72 carefully, it has space for Statements to be made to explain a matter of personal nature. That one is out of what I have submitted. What it means is that, Mr Speaker may not accept Statements relating to matters of personal nature. So, if he reads it carefully, he would see a distinction. There is a distinction with a difference. Mr Speaker, again, a question was asked by the Hon Ras Mubarak, whether the Hon Minister for Education does not have personal responsibility for the entirety of the Ministry? Mr Speaker, every Hon Minister would ordinarily assign responsibilities to his Hon Deputies in respect of particular matters. I say to us, that the Hon Minister has indicated that he has personal charge in respect of the first two Questions and would want to personally respond to them -- nothing more, nothing less. It does not mean, by any stretch of imagination, that the Hon Minister is purging himself of the responsibility of the entirety of the Ministry. It does not mean that at all. Mr Speaker, I heard the Hon Minority Leader say they would not allow that. This is an application from one of his own, that we should grant permission and I am all ready for that. Mr Speaker, if the House so permits, we would accord the Hon Deputy Ministers access to the House to come and respond to the House, and I believe that I am on the same wavelength with the Hon Ablakwa. But notwithstanding, we would entreat the substantive Hon Ministers, whenever they are in the jurisdiction, to come and respond to Questions. So, when he said that the hundred and ten Hon Ministers should have some relevance in the House -- Mr Speaker, I keep talking about optical illusion of some Hon Members. The Hon Ministers in this regime does not number 110 and that is the gospel truth. Mr Speaker, I am being urged to give a specific number. Mr Speaker, the number exists in our official publication and Hon Members may not ask questions which exist in official publications. Hon Members should read the Standing Orders. Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa, that the Report from the Kintampo Waterfall disaster has been on the back burner for quite a while. Unfortunately, our attention was not drawn to it. We will interrogate the matter and if it is possible for us to have it next week, we would do so. Mr Speaker, he said to us that we are three months down the line when the request was made. I do not know which line he talks about. I know of a “lane”. So, if he had asked whether we are three months down the lane, I would have responded to it. We are not three months down the line; we are three months down the lane. Mr Speaker, attention has been drawn to an outstanding matter which should have found expression in the Business Committee's Report -- Report from the Appointments Committee. Indeed, yesterday when the Business Committee met, the Committee had not met so we did not know how it was going to end, so, we could not factor it here. But I should express appreciation to the issue raised, and I guess we have to deal with the Committee members -- he is the Hon Ranking Member -- and we take it from there. So, possibly, once the Report is ready, either Tuesday or Thursday, we shall take the Report. Mr Speaker, equally so, must I agree with the Hon Minority Leader when he raised issues about the numerical strength at the Presidency? I think it is appropriate that he should demand that. When we were in the Minority, we demanded so and often times, even though it was late in coming, it came all the same. So, it must be the same way, we should make the demand and I will submit the request on behalf of the House to be appropriately furnished. The other matter relates to the Question that was filed, which we have agreed among ourselves and at the instance of Mr Speaker, that the Hon Minister for National Security appears before the Committee on Defence and Interior to give them the appropriate briefing. And Mr Speaker has directed that the two Leaders should join the Committee.
Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader. May the media and all of us note carefully, that on Tuesday, 31st October, 2017, this Honourable House will Sit at 10.00 in the forenoon. Hon Majority Leader, is that so?
Yes, Mr Speaker, we will Sit at 10.00 in the forenoon.
It is worthy of notice that the media, the public and the Hon Members, should note carefully. And I will pray that we all appear here at 10.00 in the forenoon. Thank you very much. The Business of the House for the fifth week is accordingly adopted. Item numbered 4 -- Urgent Question. Hon Minister for Education, take the appropriate seat. Hon Member for Zabzugu will ask the Urgent Question.
ORAL ANSWERS TO URGENT
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Hon Minister? Hon Minister for Education (Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh) (MP): The 2017 BECE results for Integrated Science for the 350 pupils/candidates who sat for the examination in the Zabuzugu Senior High School centre was cancelled due to their involvement in mass cheating/ collusion in that examination. It is therefore advised that the affected pupils/ candidates, if they have not been banned for some number of years, can register and re-sit the examination during the forthcoming private BECE in February 2018, if the Examination Council so permits.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, I am surprised, how do you punish innocent pupils? This is because this list is not only one school. It comprises Rajiah JHS, 92— my question is that, what prevents West African Examination Council (WAEC) from letting the pupils resit that particular paper in that year? This is because they cancelled it based on circumstantial evidence.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member made certain statements and I would want him to reflect on them. He has not talked about the fact that these pupils have been involved in examination malpractice. He has not addressed the fact that cheating affects everybody and the quality of the result of everybody, but he is asking, why they did not sit the examination in that year. And WAEC said that they would permit them to sit as private students in the next examination. And that is the Answer I gave. Unless cheating does not matter in his circumstance.
Mr Speaker, not that I am supporting cheating, never! I will never support cheating. But the issue is, we have 350 pupils who did not sit in one room to write the examination, the centre has several examination rooms in which each pupil wrote the examination. But I am just surprised that we tend to punish these 350 pupils such that if care is not taken, there would be school dropouts.
Please, not a commentary, ask a question.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would want to ask the Hon Minister, what the Ministry is doing for the innocent pupils who did not participate in the cheating?
Mr Speaker, the innocent pupils who did not participate in the cheating have had their results released and are in school. Thank you.
You may ask the last one.
What steps are the Ministry taking, so that we would not have that incident repeated?
This is not to say that the Ministry condones cheating. It is up to us to stand up for what is right. Cheating is bad and we should go around the schools and tell the students to study hard and pass the exams. Cheating never profited anybody, so we should advice students not to cheat. Hitherto, those who were caught cheating were banned sometimes for five years and even for life, depending on the circum- stances. So, we should team up and strongly advice candidates to study, work hard and pass the examinations, especially in this era of free SHS.
Thank you. This Question is constituency specific, so that would end it. Hon Minister, thank you very much for attending to the House and answering our Questions. Item numbered 5 -- Hon Minister for Roads and Highways, if you could please take the relevant seat. Hon Member for Pusiga, you may please ask your Question.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTSRY OF ROADS AND
Mr Speaker, the Pusiga - Kultamise - Kolgungu road is a 15km long undeveloped road in the Pusiga District of the Upper East Region. It is in poor condition. Engineering design studies were carried out on this road in 2016 to assess the needed interventions. It was observed that three (3) tributaries of the White Volta River of spans not less than 100m cross the road at three (3) different locations. These long spans were beyond the normal spans of steel bridges constructed on our feeder roads. Reinforced concrete or composite (concrete and steel) bridges of spans exceeding 100m would be required. The 3no. bridge locations have been added to the Department of Feeder Roads bridges database.
Mr Speaker, from the Hon Minister's own response, the opening paragraph, he said the road is undeveloped and in a poor state. Would he consider reshaping and filling potholes while we wait for 2018?
Mr Speaker, my Ministry and its agencies have the obligation to maintain all roads in the country until such a time that we could develop them fully. So, until that is done, I would want to assure the Hon Member that our normal routine maintenance would be carried out on all roads including this particular road.
Mr Speaker, based on the Hon Minster's response on the last paragraph, could he kindly state the exact date on which the review would be done -- that is the future programme he referred to?
Mr Speaker, I again make reference to the same last sentence. I have indicated that the engineering design and road would be reviewed in 2018; 2018 is only two months away from now. If I talk about January, it is futuristic, so the review could take place in January. I would want to assure the Hon Member that something is going to be done in 2018 which starts from January.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am done.
Question numbered 109, Hon Member for Tamale North?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. Before you admitted the Business Statement, I was on my feet for a while because of an idiomatic expression. The students were here and I thought that it was important that we captured it correctly. It is “down the line” and not “down the lane” as the Hon Majority Leader suggested. It is important because the students are here to learn, so if --
Hon Member, ask your Question. [Interruptions.] Order! Order! Hon Member for Tamale North? State of 3rd Ring Road (Kanvilli-Fuo-Taha) Q. 109. Mr Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu asked the Minister for Roads and Highways what the state of the 3rd Ring Road (Kanvilli - Fuo - Taha Road) in Tamale, which was awarded on contract to M/S Awacon Gh. Ltd. on 26th July, 2016 was and what plans are in place to complete the construction to bring relief and improve livelihoods of communities on the stretch.
Mr Speaker, the project which forms part of the north east section of the 3rd Ring Road of length 32.8 km starts from Tamale North through Sagnerigu to Tamale South constituencies. The relevance of the development of this 3rd Ring Road, classified as a major arterial in the Department of Urban Roads (DUR's) network classification, is to decongest the Central Business District (CBD) of the Tamale Metropolis. The road project in question is 6.8km long and starts from the King David Junction at Ch.0+000 to where it connects to the Fuo-Taha main road at Ch.6+800. The road runs through communities such as Kanvilli, Tuunaayili and Fuo. The project was awarded on 26th July, 2016. It commenced on 6th September, 2016 for completion in fifteen (15) calendar months, that is, by 5th December, 2017.
SPACE FOR WORKS COMPRISE
Hon Member, do you have any follow-up question? You may go ahead.
Mr Speaker, I wish to ask the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways, a man I am happy to call my uncle, if he is aware that not even mobilisation was given to this contractor. In his Answer, he says that physical achievements have been attained, and he lists the physical achievements as site clearance, construction of some U-drains and construction of double 1.2m U- culverts. All of which the State has not paid for. Mr Speaker, based on this, would it be fair for the contract to be terminated, only to be awarded to one who has not shown the same level of commitment this contractor has shown? Would it not rather be fair to pay for the work that has so far been done so that the contractor may go back to site and continue the work?
Mr Speaker, it is not automatic that a contractor should be paid mobilisation before commencement of work. Any contractor who seeks to get advanced mobilisation before commence- ment has to apply for it. Mr Speaker, once the contractor did not apply for it, it was assumed that he had the capacity to commence work. He has not performed under the contract, and as I indicated, the contractor has been prompted on a number of occasions but to no avail. We have no alternative than to take steps to terminate the contract. As the Hon Member who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area -- I know he wishes well for his constituents — We have to bring this job to speed and completion so that his people who are the beneficiaries can enjoy the road. This road was awarded in 2016, but there was no performance.
Mr Speaker, in a contract, I do know that all parties have responsibilities, and so the Hon Minister in his Answer talks about some work that was done by the contractor and he lists the work that was done by the contractor. Mr Speaker, I do know that the contractor has raised certificate for these jobs that he did to be paid, and they had since not been paid. That is why I am asking the Hon Minister, if it would not be fair to pay the contractor for the work that he has done, if indeed, it is the intention of government to get the contractor to finish this work in time to provide relief for the people who live on that stretch of the road.
Mr Speaker, contract work is always contractual; contracts are between parties. Contracts have conditions and terms which are obligatory and all parties must make sure that they perform their respective sides of the obligation. Mr Speaker, I would want to assure the Hon Member that before a contract is duly terminated, if the employer, which is always the government, has any obligation under that contract regarding payments, that outstanding obligation in terms of debt would be made good before it is finally terminated.
Hon Members, Question numbered *110 which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Akan. Completion of the Eastern Corridor Road Q. 110. Mr Abdul Aziz Muniru asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Eastern Corridor road which is currently under construction would be completed.
Mr Speaker, The Eastern Corridor Road, is designated as N2 of the national trunk road network. It is a south to north road corridor, which starts from the Tema Motorway Roundabout and ends at Kulungugu on the country's border with Burkina Faso. It is 695km long and traverses Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Northern and Upper East regions. The Eastern Corridor Road Project, has been packaged into lots. The project starts from the Asikuma Junction in the Volta Region. The following sections form part of the Eastern Corridor Road Projects:
SPACE FOR EASTERN CORRIDOR ROAD PROJECTS
Mr Speaker, is the Hon Minister aware, that the lack of attention by his Ministry on the Eastern Corridor Road has caused the road to deteriorate further? The road has deteriorated to the extent that road users have resulted to the use of alternative routes, thus making life difficult to commuters and doing business difficult and expensive. The road covers five out of the ten regions in Ghana, namely Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern, Northern and Upper East Regions which starts from the Tema Motorway to Kulungugu. What would his Ministry do to temporarily solve this problem? Thank you.
Bonsu — rose
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I believe the House would be better served if the Hon Member asking the question would ask the relevant question. Mr Speaker, the Hon Muniru begins by asking whether the Hon Minister would not admit that the lack of attention and performance by his Ministry does not lead to something. That is argumentative. It is the expression of his own personal opinion, and that indeed is frowned upon by our Standing Orders. Mr Speaker, with your permission let me quote Order 67 (1) (b) for the elucidation of my Hon Colleague: “Questions must comply with the following conditions -- (b) a Question shall not contain any arguments, expression of opinion, inferences…”.
Hon Member, in the court of law, phishing interlocutory is not allowed. That is, those that go round and round and not specific to any particular thing, as if you are looking for something that you do not know about yourself. You may ask your next specific question.
Mr Speaker, the Eastern Corridor road has deteriorated seriously, and it makes life very difficult for commuters along that corridor. What is the Ministry doing to temporarily solve the problem of commuters in this area?
Hon Minister, he is not asking for a permanent solution. He wants a temporary one.
Mr Speaker, I wish to confirm the observation of my Hon Colleague, that it is true the Government inherited that Eastern Corridor road in a terrible situation. That notwithstanding, a lot of work has been done within this ten-month period that the new Government has been in office. Mr Speaker, a lot of sections, as I indicated in my Answer, fall under the cocoa roads project. I have indicated it on the floor of this House in my previous Answers to Questions that COCOBOD, in its own right, initiated a programme of project rationalisation and review. That is why they suspended almost all the COCOBOD projects across the nation. Now, my information is that the committee has finished its work and submitted its Report. We are doing everything possible in my Ministry to make sure that all the contractors who have not been paid for the past five years would be paid, at least, part of what they are owed. That would pave way for them to go back to work. So, very soon, that Eastern Corridor, which obviously is an important corridor that links Tema to the north will come back to life; the Government is doing that.
Hon Member, you may ask your last question.
Mr Speaker, there are two sections on this corridor. Specifically, between Hohoe and Jasikan, there is a spot just after Santrokofi which is very deteriorated. There is another section between Jasikan and Kadjebi, just after the Jasikan Secondary School, also very deteriorated in a way that it has become a death trap to commuters. What would the Ministry do to temporarily solve this problem because cars always get stuck at that point?
Hon Minister, what would you do?
Mr Speaker, those two stretches together measure up to a little over 60 kilometres. It is about 63 kilometres to 64 kilometres because the distance between Hohoe to Jasikan is 30 kilometres. We have taken a careful study of the entire road. The portion between Dodo Pepesu and Nkwanta, which was undertaken by Oumarou Kanazoe is full of potholes within this short period. This is a Burkinabe contractor who was supposed to have given us a first class road, and even local contractors were called upon by the then President to go and learn from the work he had done for this country. [Uproar] That stretch is full of potholes now, and we have begun a process of our normal periodic and routine maintenance on that road. So, we are working hard, and I would want to assure you and people living on that stretch of road, that this Government is taking the entire corridor seriously. I would want to assure all Hon Members of Parliament, whose constituencies this stretch of road runs through, that attention is being given to that road.
Hon Member for Akan, you may proceed to Question numbered 111. Construction of the Missing Link between Jasikan and Dodo Pepesu towns Q. 111. Mr Abdul Aziz Muniru asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the missing link between Jasikan town and Dodo Pepesu town on the Eastern Corridor road would be constructed.
Hon Minister, your Answers are captured already. You may ask that Hansard reproduces them, and then zero in on the specific areas like “when” and other things.
Mr Speaker, Background The Jasikan to Dodo Pepesu road is a section within the Eastern Corridor road, which has not been awarded for any intervention. This road section is 67.8km. It is bituminous surfaced with sections in poor condition. It is located in the Jasikan and Kedjebi Districts in the Volta Region. Current programme Routine maintenance activities such as pothole patching and grading of high shoulders have been awarded on contract to keep the road surface motorable. Future programme Engineering design studies of the road have been completed for rehabilitation. The Ministry will look for alternative source of funds to have the section of the road between Jasikan and Kedjebi (67km), awarded on contract for rehabilitation to help complete the connectivity of the road from Asikuma Junction -- Oti Damanko. Mr Speaker, that portion is an integral part of the entire Eastern Corridor road. We are dealing with the road as one entity. It is the same application.
Hon Member, any further question?
Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister if the procurement process has begun on this stretch of the road?
Mr Speaker, if I heard my Hon Colleague rightly, he said he wanted to ask the Hon Minister a question. Was he asking or he wanted to ask? [Laughter.]
Hon Minister, your Hon Colleague is expressing his wish. Please, give him his wish.
Mr Speaker, thank you. I have already indicated that among the corridor projects that we have in this country, the Eastern Corridor is
Question numbered 112 -- Hon Mahama Ayariga? Construction and tarring of Bawku to Garu Town Road Q. 112. Mr Mahama Ayariga asked the Minister for Roads and Highways what steps were being taken to construct and tar the Bawku to Garu town road.
Mr Speaker, the Bawku - Missiga - Garu road is 30km long. The Bawku - Missiga section is 5.0km and paved while the Missiga - Garu section is 25.0km and has both bituminous and gravel surfaces. The road is located in the Bawku Municipal as well as the Garu-Tempane District of the Upper East region. There are three contracts awarded on the Missiga-Garu road: a. Partial reconstruction of Missiga - Garu road km(0.0-5.0) and upgrading of Missiga - Kulungugu road km(0.0-10.0). A contract is currently running for the partial reconstruction of Missiga - Garu road km (0.0-5.0) and Upgrading of Missiga - Kulungugu road km (0.0-10.0). Works com- menced on 16th January, 2013 for completion by 15th April, 2016 which has since expired. The contractor has requested for an extension of the completion time due to the employer's delay in paying for work done. The project is currently at 46 per cent physical completion. When completed the road will have a bituminous surface. b. Regravelling of Missiga - Garu road km(5.0-10.0). This project commenced on 19th September, 2016 and was scheduled for completion by 18th September, 2017. It is currently at 5.0 per cent physical completion. The Contractor has abandoned the site. c. Regravelling of Missiga - Garu road km (10.0-15.0). The commencement date for this project is 19th September, 2016 and was scheduled for completion by 18th September, 2017. The Contractor was issued with a warning letter to expedite action to complete the works. However, he has still not mobilised to site to commence work. The remaining 10.0 km, that is, km (15.0-25.0) section to Garu town is currently under routine mainte- nance grading to keep the surface motorable. Ghana Highway Authority is initiating steps to terminate the two regravelling contracts for re-award. Engineering design studies will be undertaken in the second quarter of 2018 from km (5.0-25.0) that is, 20 km stretch in between for bituminous surfacing (tarring).
Mr Speaker, thank you very much. With your kind permission, I would want to refer the Hon Minister to an earlier Answer he gave today in which he indicated the extent of the Eastern Corridor road stretching from the Volta Region to Kulungugu, and the Bawku- Garu road forming a section of the Eastern Corridor road. Has the Hon Minister taken Bawku- Garu out of the Eastern Corridor road? This is because in the past one of the reasons why the Ministry did not work on that stretch of the road, the excuse I got, was that it was part of the Eastern Corridor road. So, I was told to wait; when they got to that portion, they would construct it. From the Minister's Answer, I do not get the indication that he would now consider the Bawku-Garu stretch as part of the Eastern Corridor road. He should let me have that clarification.
Mr Speaker, it is a good observation, but I would want to assure the Hon Member that it has not been taken out. Gbintri-Kulungugu has not been awarded yet, and it is not the entire stretch of the Eastern Corridor road that has been awarded. The Bawku-Garu road is part of it. So, when that portion comes to be awarded, we are to make sure that we fully complete the entire stretch of the road to make the project beneficial. I would want to assure the Hon Member that it would be awarded; it is part of the project. So, it has not been taken out.
Mr Speaker, as I commend him for the on-going work on the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakon road, could he give an indication when the award for the Gbintri to Kulungugu section would take place?
Mr Speaker, I would want to assure the Hon Member -- and he is aware because I had discussions with him during our recent visit to the Upper East Region, when I was with His Excellency the President, and we visited his constituency and their roads. I want to assure him that it is part of our priority list, and pretty soon, going into 2018 - the year 2017 has almost ended -- it is part of the priority projects that are going to be captured in the year 2018. So, the Hon Member should be rest assured.
Thank you very much.
Hon Member for Yilo Krobo? Rehabilitation of Sikabey Junction to Nsutapong Road Q.114.Mr Magnus Kofi Amoateyasked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Sikabey Junction to Nsutapong road would be rehabilitated.
Mr Speaker, Background Sikabeng to Nsutapong is a 17.60 km long feeder road in the Yilo-Krobo District of the Eastern Region. It is a bituminous surface road in fair to poor condition.
Mr Speaker, it is re- assuring that the Hon Minister had indicated that routine maintenance works would be carried out on the road in 2017. Mr Speaker, would the Hon Minister be kind enough to let us know when in 2017 these routine maintenance works will be undertaken.
Mr Speaker, my Ministry initiated a number of interventions, particularly in the area of routine and periodic maintenance of our roads, and they spread throughout the year from January to December. A number of them are ongoing across the nation. We are still within 2017, and that road was captured. I would want to assure the Hon Member that the various works started at various times and periods. So within the remaining months of the year; once the year is still running, the road would be captured.
Hon Members, we would move to Question numbered 115 standing in the name of Hon Chiwitey. Completion of Tuna-Kalba Road Q. 115. Mr Andrew Dari Chiwitey asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction of the Tuna - Kalba road will be completed.
Mr Speaker, Background The Tuna -- Kalba road is a 30km long feeder road in the Bole District of the Northern Region. It is a gravel surfaced road in poor condition. Current programme Contracts for upgrading to bituminous surfacing of the road were awarded in two phases. The contract for phase I which is the section between Km (0.0 -- 20.0) was awarded on 12th July 2016. Works commenced on 4th October 2016 for contractual completion by 4th April 2018. Works have been completed up to the sub- base level. Physical completion to date is estimated at 30 per cent. The contract for the Phase II which is the section between Km (20.0 -- 30.0) was awarded on 21st July 2016. Works commenced on 3rd October 2016 for contractual completion by 3rd April 2018. Works completed to date include clearing, formation, excavation of earth ditches and construction of 4no. culverts. Physical completion to date is estimated at 19 per cent.
Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, I would like to make a correction on the Hon Minister's Answer before I ask my supplementary question. Mr Speaker, he indicated under the background that Tuna-Kalba road is a 30- kilometre long feeder road in the Bole District. Mr Speaker, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba became a district since 2004, so, I am surprised that the Ministry still captures it under Bole District. Mr Speaker, if that would be corrected. My question to the Hon Minister is whether he is aware that the contractor has packed his equipment out of the site.
Hon Member, you may repeat the question.
Mr Speaker, my question is whether the Hon Minister is aware that the contractor has packed his equipment and left the site?
Hon Minister, has the contactor gone absent without leave (AWOL)?
Mr Speaker, yes, the project is Sawla-Tuna-Kalba. The contractor had a lot of problems and difficulties since the award of the contract in July, 2016. He commenced work, and that is why I indicated the works he undertook. So far, I believe the Hon Member is aware, since it is within his constituency, that the contractor undertook clearing, formation and excavation of earth ditches and so on. That is why I have indicated that physical completion of the work to date is about 30 per cent. So, we would take all necessary steps to make sure that the project comes on stream.
Mr Speaker, I actually wanted to know whether the Hon Minister is aware that the contractor has moved out of site. Mr Speaker, but my next question is the gutters in Sawla Township have been left uncovered, and it causes a lot of accidents in town. We have even lost a teacher through a motor accident. Would the Hon Minister consider calling the contractor back to site to cover those gutters to save the people of Kalba from the difficulties that they are going through?
Mr Speaker, naturally and obviously, we all regret such fatal accidents and I would want to assure the Hon Member that as I have already indicated, steps would be taken to make sure that the project would be re-visited and carried out for the benefit of our people.
Hon Members, Question numbered 116 --
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister if he could tell the House which contractor was awarded this contract?
Hon Member, let us be careful we do not deviate from the constituency specific --
Mr Speaker, I agree. May I ask the question just for this one?
Hon Member, we do not want to open a Pandora's Box, please. It might not be in the interest of the House.
Mr Speaker, maybe for Leadership.
Question listed as 116. Hon Member for Aowin? In the meantime, the Hon Second Deputy Speaker would take the Chair. Completion of Enchi -- Dadieso Road Q.116.Mr Matthias Kwame Ntowasked the Minister for Roads and Highways when work on the Enchi - Dadieso road would be completed.
Mr Speaker, Background Enchi - Dadieso is a 50km road in the Aowin District of the Western Region. It is a gravel surfaced road in poor condition. The project is being executed in two sections: (i) km (0.0 - 30.0),financed from the Consolidated Fund (GoG). (ii) km (30.0 - 50.0), financed by the Ghana Cocoa Board. Current programme The section km (0.0 - 30.0) was awarded for upgrading to a double bituminous surface dressing on 21st May 2010. Works commenced on 16th August 2010 for completion on 14th November, 2012. A total of 5.65 km of the road has been primer sealed, 5.65 km crushed rock base, and 20 km of mechanically stabilised sub base have been provided and placed at site. The current physical progress is projected at 63.82 per cent. The contractor has requested for extension of time on grounds of change in scope of works, and adverse weather conditions at site. The issuance of variation orders which included the construction of 0.46km Enchi by-pass road and 1.9km long access road to New Yaakase Town resulted in increased work quantities. Approved has been requested for the resultant additional works. The other section km (30.0 - 50.0) was awarded for upgrading to a bituminous surface. This road section is 20km long, unpaved and in poor condition. Works commenced on 24th May 2015 for contractual completion by 23rd November, 2016. The project is 100 per cent complete with a double bituminous surface dressing as wearing course.
[MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.]
Yes, Hon Member, continue.
Mr Speaker, my next question is premised from the first and second paragraphs of page 16 of the Order Paper. With your permission, I would like to draw the attention of the Hon Minister to a particular section. “The contractor has requested for Extension of Time on grounds of change in scope of works, and adverse weather conditions at site.” Mr Speaker, I believe the explanation given to the Hon Minister by the contractor is unacceptable. This is because as a contractor, he should have been aware of the weather condition prevalent in that area of the country. Mr Speaker, my question is; may I know from the Hon Minister whether approval has been granted, considering the importance of this road to my constituents?
Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Member to know that the Ministry is very critical when we get requests for extension of time for the execution of jobs. This is because it has its own implications, and at the end of the day, it becomes costly for the employer, who is always the Government. Mr Speaker, the longer a project delays, the greater the inconvenience that our people suffer and go through. So, we take serious view before we grant extensions to contractors. We do so to only those who from the facts and the evidence, deserve that. If rainfall is very excessive, it could be a good ground for delaying jobs and asking for extensions. Mr Speaker, but the Hon Member should be assured that we would not allow extensions of work to delay the work in his constituency.
Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the Hon Minister has been informed that the contractor is not on site as we speak. So, I would want to find out whether the Hon Minister would give the specific time or date when the contractor would go back to continue the work. This is because, as I speak, he is not on site.
Hon Member, I do not think you have asked a question. You just informed the Hon Minister that the contractor is not on site. So, he has taken note of that.
Mr Speaker, I drew his attention to that, but the question is --
Is it now that you would want to ask the question? You drew his attention to it, but you did not ask any question.
Mr Speaker, I asked a question.
What was the question?
Mr Speaker, the question was whether he could give me the specific date or time when the contractor would go back since he is currently not on site.
Now, you drew his attention. So, his attention is now drawn to the fact that the contractor is not on site. You are now asking him when the contractor would move to site. Earlier, you did not get him to admit that he was aware the contractor is not on site. Are you with me?
Mr Speaker, I am with you. I thank you very much. Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister whether he would consider repackaging this contract and probably re-awarding it, and when would that happen.
Hon Minister, now, the question is whether you would consider repackaging the contract.
Mr Speaker, the contractor has gone far on the project. I have indicated that he has done almost 63 per cent of the projected works. We are in the process of establishing the challenges that he is facing. Part of it was about delayed payment. If we come to grips with the challenges since he has gone far with this project, we must first resolve the problem and ask him to continue. If that should fail, then we would be left with no choice than to terminate the project, repackage it, if possible, redefine the scope and then reaward it. But the ultimate objective is that the Ministry would ensure that the project comes to its full conclusion. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, finally, I would like to give an information to the Hon Minister. The area which he has
Thank you, Hon Member. We would move to Question numbered 117, which stands in the name of Hon Member for Keta; Hon Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, the pronunciation of my name is not “Kweku”, it is “Kwoku” and “Quashigah” means “Solid immovable rock”.
So, it is spelt “K-w-a-k-u”, that is what is on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, that would still not be pronounced “Kweku”.
How is it pronounced?
Mr Speaker, that would be pronounced “Kwaku”, which is closer to the original pronunciation. [Laughter.]
“Kwaku”, thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Background Mr Speaker, the Havedzi-Afiadenyigba Junction road which is 10km includes Afiadenyigba town, is a section on the Mestrikasa-Havedzi road which is a total (40km). The Havedzi-Afiadenyigba Junction road is gravel surfaced in poor condition. It is located in the Ketu South and Ketu North Districts of the Volta Region. The current programme is that contract was awarded for the Upgrading of Mestrikasa-Havedziroad km (30.0-40.0), that is, from AnloAfiadenyigba Junction to Havedzi. The contract was awarded on 26th November, 2012. Works commenced on 3rd April, 2013, for contractual completion by 2nd October, 2014. The project is financed from the Consolidated Fund (GoG). On completion, the road will have double bituminous surface dressing as wearing course. The project completion date was extended to 31st March 2015 which has expired. Mr Speaker, the contractor has requested for extension of time which is being reviewed by the employer. The project has suffered cash flow challenges due to the employer's delay in paying for work done. Work done includes 10km of primerseal and 6 km of seal. Current physical progress is projected at 78 per cent. The contractor is at site working since February, 2017, though progress of work is slow.
Mr Speaker, may I know from the Hon Minister whether he is aware that the road referred to is within the Keta Municipality. The junction is not part of Keta South District; it falls within Keta North District?
Yes, Hon Minister? The question is whether you are aware or not that the subject matter is within Keta Municipality.
Mr Speaker, all such roads within Keta and its environs from the Ministry's point of view are captured as part of that community and municipality. I have taken note of his observation and concern. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, may I know from the Hon Minister whether the Ministry has resolved what he described as cash flow challenges and when he envisages that work would be completed. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I would want to assure my Hon Colleague that cash flow continues to be a problem. But Government is working hard, and I know that at the appropriate time, with the discussions going on between the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Ministry of Finance, all ongoing projects would be taken care of. It is the policy of Government to ensure that we complete all ongoing projects. The directive has already been given by H. E. the President. I would want to assure the Hon Member that the project would go on. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members your last supplementary question.
Mr Speaker, I feel shivers down my spine with the response the Hon Minister gave. Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minister said that there continues to be cash flow challenges and that at the appropriate time --Appropriate time could be in perpetuity. Could the Hon Minister give us a definite timeline when the road, which he said is 78 per cent complete, would be finally completed? Mr Speaker, since this is my last submission, I would like to tie-in the last paragraph to his Answer. It reads: “The contractors is…” --
Hon Member, a question at a time. Once you have asked your last question, if you have any other question, you know what to do. But unfortunately, this is constituency specific. So, Hon Minister, can you answer the question?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would want to assure my Hon Colleague that he should relax and not allow any shivers to run through his spine.
Hon Minister, I believe you said that the project commenced in 2013, but now you are saying it commenced in 2012.
Mr Speaker, in the first paragraph of my Answer, it says that the contract was awarded in 26th November 2012.
Yes, Hon Minister, but you said “commenced”. You said it commenced in 2013, and that is where you used the word “commenced”.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
It was awarded in 2012, but commenced 2013.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the project was awarded in November 2012, commenced in April 2013, and it was scheduled for completion by 2014. Mr Speaker, however, it is the same cash flow problems and delays in payments that we are still facing. So, I would want to assure the Hon Member that we have not gone over the cash flow problems yet, but the only response I can give is that since the Government is determined to complete all projects commenced by the previous Government, this project will see the light of day. We shall take it up from 2018. Thank you very much.
Hon Members, we would now move to Question numbered 118. Yes, Hon Member? Commencement of work on the Vui Township/KetaTwonship/Afife-Bolove— Nolope-Dorveme-Anyako/Dzelukope Township/Atiavi-Glime-Atime/Afife- Sasieme-Dorveme-Tsiame Roads Q.118. Mr Richard Mawuli Kwaku Quashigah asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when works on the following roads will commence: (i) Vui Township (ii) Keta Township (iii) Afife -- Bolove -- Nolope -- Dorveme -- Anyako (iv) Dzelukope Township (v) Atiavi -- Glime -- Atime (vii) Afife -- Sasieme -- Dorveme - Tsiame.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, I would take the town roads first, and I would take them together. Mr Speaker, 1. (i) Vui Township, (ii) Keta Township and (iv) Dzelukope Township roads. Background Vui, Keta and Dzelukope township roads are within the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region. They are unpaved with sandy surfaces in fair condition. Current programme Vui and Dzelukope township roads are currently not under any programme. Future programme Engineering design studies have been carried out on a total of 10.25km of the township (Vui, Keta and Dzelukope) roads for upgrading to bituminous surfacing when funds are available. 2. Upgrading of Tettekope, KetaGobah, and Ghana Kpedzi roads in Keta Municipality A total of 1.95km of roads within the Keta Township is being executed as follows; i. Upgrading of Tettekope Road in Keta Municipality (Km.0+000 - Km.1+254); 1.25km. The above contract was awarded on 1st March, 2016 to be completed by 1st June, 2016. Work done to date includes 1.0Km of sub-base. The physical progress to date is projected at 83 per cent. ii. Upgrading of Keta Gobah, Ghana Kpedzi in Keta Municipality (Keta beach Hotel Road) -- Km.0+000 -- Km.0+700; 0.70km. The above contract was awarded on 1st March, 2016, to be completed by 1st June, 2016. Work done to date includes 0.53Km of sub-base. The physical progress to date is projected at 76 per cent. Future programme The contract period has elapsed. Steps are being taken to terminate the project. The project will be repackaged and awarded up to bituminous surfacing. iii. Afife -- Bolove -- Nolope -- Dorveme -- Anyako.
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would humbly crave your indulgence, if I find grace before you, that since there are about five supplementary questions, I would be permitted to ask a follow up question on each, at least.
Hon Member, just draw my attention to the Standing Orders, so that I could take my authority from it. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I believe strongly that we are in your hands when we are in this House and therefore, you can use your discretion to even vary the Business of the House. Therefore, Mr Speaker, it is well within your authority, with all humility, Sir, to as it were, permit me to even ask 20 questions if it so finds favour before you.
Hon Member, I do not find that authority at all anywhere, in any textbook, Standing Orders, or under any convention. I see the Hon Majority Leader on his feet.
Mr Speaker, you are right in guiding my Hon Colleague that no Hon Member has the right to ask as many questions as he deems appropriate. Indeed, Standing Order 65 (2) provides: “Not more than three Questions for oral answers shall be asked by a Member at any one Sitting.” Mr Speaker, the rule is clear. So, for the Hon Member to submit an application to ask 20 questions, I do not know where he is coming from and he said to us that by the powers vested in the Speaker, he can alter the order of the Business of the House. Where does that come from? It does not exist or come from anywhere and I would suggest to him that it cannot be produced at Keta.
Mr Speaker, I sought to take refuge in Standing Order 6, but I do not know whether it is inferior or superior to Standing Order 65 -- [Laughter.] But I would crave your indulgence, Mr Speaker, to kindly consider the questions asked as separate.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague said he was motivated to seek refuge under Standing Order 6. Standing Order 6 provides: “In all cases not provided for in these Orders Mr Speaker shall make provisions as he deems fit.” Except that this one is explicitly provided for in the Standing Orders so there is no shelter for him.
Hon Majority Leader, I believe he realised it and so, he immediately made a U-turn and doubted the Standing Order himself. He knew that there was no shelter there for him. Hon Member, please, you have three supplementary questions to ask.
Mr Speaker, I hope I am permitted to make it a double-barrelled question. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, first of all, I would want to remind the Hon Minister that Keta town roads are not “unpaved with sandy surfaces”; they are bituminous surfaces which have gone bad. Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister if he can give timelines when actual works would commence on the Vui, Dzelukope and the Keta township roads.
Mr Speaker, obviously, these towns are very important in the Hon Member's constituency, particularly Keta. That is why in my Answer, I indicated that we have undertaken engineering design studies to cover a total of 10.25 kilometres of road in these towns. It is a process and once we have completed that, I would want to assure him, that in the not too distant future, going into 2018, he would see work on these important town roads.
Hon Member, any otther supplementary question?
Mr Speaker, though I am not satisfied with the response, I find myself in a captive position in asking a probing question arising from the Answer the Hon Minister gave. However, I would find space some other day to peruse. Mr Speaker, I would also want to find out from the Hon Minister what he terms “fair”, in relation to the Afife-Bolove- Nolope-Dorveme-Anyako road, because a large portion of that road is in a terrible state. Therefore, his “fair”, I know is relative, but if he can describe what he meant by “fair”.
Hon Minister, what do you mean by “fair condition”?
Mr Speaker, this is a description of our road network. There is what is called “road condition mix” and it can be categorised into three - good, fair and poor. The road that is described from a technical point of view falls squarely under “fair condition”. A fair condition of road obviously is not a perfect road. There is a thin line between “fair” and “poor”. So, it is true that it may not be a good road. That is why we subject all roads, even if it is good, to regular routine and periodic maintenance.
The last supplementary question.
Mr Speaker, in relation to the Afife-Sasieme-Dorvemeh-Tsiame road, the Hon Minister says according to his future programme, engineering studies would be carried out on the road in the second quarter of 2018, for upgrading to bituminous surfacing when funds are available. Would the Hon Minister consider temporary remedial measures to “switch out” the plight of commuters, while we await the 2018 intended construction of the road?
Mr Speaker, thank you. It is a gravel road so, it is already captured under our routine maintenance project. So until it is developed into a full bituminous road, that would always be ongoing to make it motorable for the good people of Keta and its environs. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
We now move to Question 119, which stands in the name of Hon Member for Builsa North, Hon James Agalga. Completion of Chuchuliga-Sandema- Fumbisi Road. Q.119. Mr James Agalga asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when works on the Chuchuliga - Sandema -- Fumbisi road will be completed.
Hon Member, are you talking of the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways or the Hon Minister for Roads?
Mr Speaker, Hon Minister for Roads and Highways.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, the Chuchuliga - Sandema - Fumbisi road is 40.0km long. The road has 6km bituminous surfaced section in Sandema town, while the remaining 34.0 km is gravel surfaced and in poor condition. It is located in the Builsa North and South districts of the Upper East Region. Current programme The upgrading of Chuchuliga -- Sandema - Fumbisi road was awarded on 5th July, 2016. Works commenced on the 5th September, 2016 for contractual completion by 17th February, 2019. The project is financed by the Ghana Road Fund. On completion, the road will have a single bituminous surface treatment as wearing course. . The contractor is at site and works are currently on-going. The current physical progress is projected at 22 per cent. I thank you Mr Speaker.
Hon Member, any supplementary question?
Yes, Mr Speaker. I would like to inform the Hon Minister and to follow up with a question, that the stretch between Chuchuliga and Sandema, and that between Sandema and Wiaga are in a very deplorable state. So dmittedly, the contractor is on site, but I would want to find out from the Hon Minister whether he would not consider directing the contractor to surface-dress those two stretches to make them a bit motorable for commuters. Thank you.
Hon Member, I have a difficulty in admitting your supplementary question because your Question was very specific. You just wanted to know when the road would be completed. Simpliciter. That was the Question and the Answer was simply given. But I would allow the Hon Minister to respond to your concern.
Very well, Mr Speaker.
Thank you Mr Speaker. I am happy that my Hon Colleague has confirmed that the contractor is on site, so work is going on and it is the duty of the contractor to carry out work on the portion that he has spoken about. I would want to assure the Hon Member that I would take a further step to ensure that the contractor moves to that deplorable section as part of the total package to make sure that it is put to good shape. Let me assure you that this particular road, when His Excellency the President toured the three northern regions two weeks ago, and as his Minister for Roads and Highways, I had the opportunity to be with him. We met the chief of Sandema and this project was fully discussed. So, Hon Member, be assured that my Ministry is giving this particular road all the importance and the urgency it requires like any other road, particularly when His Excellency, the President had the opportunity to discuss it with our revered chief. So, be assured that work would be done on it. I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I thank the Hon Minister for the assurance given the people of Buluk. Thank you very much.
Hon Members, on behalf of the House, I thank the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways for attending upon the House and answering the Questions. Hon Minister, you are discharged. Hon Members, item numbered 6 -- Statements. Hon Members, we have two Statements; the first one stands in the name of Hon Frank Annoh-Dompreh. The Hon Member may proceed to make the Statement.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your kindness. Mr Speaker, I would plead your kindness that I read the summary of the Statement, while the Hansard Department captures the Statement in whole.
Hon Member, I do not know under which Standing Orders you would be reading a summary of the Statement.
Mr Speaker, I take a cue.
I do not know. This is because you would have to submit the terms of the Statement to Mr Speaker, and Mr Speaker would have to go through it before granting approval.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful and take a cue accordingly.
Mr Speaker, I rise to make a case on the need for an appropriate convention for the planning, control and management of disasters in the sub-region and the world at large. I would want to begin my Statement with a quote from Petra Nemcova, a Czech Republican model who once survived a Tsunami in 2004 and with your permission, I quote: “We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge, so many lives wouldn't have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness”. Fortunately, we do not have tsunamis, but we have floods, fires, pests, droughts and other disasters prevalent in Ghana and the sub-region. Mr Speaker, we all agree that disasters occur when hazards and vulnerability meet, and that is a statement of fact. It is on record per statistics available that out of every 100 disasters reported worldwide, only 20 occur in Africa, but Africa suffers 60 per cent of all disaster-related deaths. This is probably due to the type of hazards that affect this continent, to under-reporting, and the fact that under the circumstances prevailing in Africa, it is easy for any disaster to escalate and multiply its impact. Worse still, we do not prepare for disasters and without planning and preparation, our chances of meeting and surmounting the challenges of disasters is left to chance. Africa's natural hazards are mainly epidemics, endemic diseases, drought, floods, agricultural pests and bush fires. Parts of our continent are also susceptible to earthquakes, cyclones and volcanic eruptions. The natural hazards interact with man-made ones, such as armed conflicts, air, road and railway incidents. Other industrial hazards such as mining accidents, chemical spills, et cetera, and with widespread vulnerability speak volumes of a time-bomb of danger that lurks around us. The context is one of rapid population growth, forced movements of population, environmental degradation, precarious urbanisation, food insecurity, poverty, fragile economies, poor infrastructures and weak institutions, cultural and political instability. The 53 countries of the continent are highly susceptible and vulnerable, and over 1.2 billion population is exposed to both natural and manmade hazards. Through complex causal effects, disasters have physical, emotional and economic impact on our people directly and indirectly. Mr Speaker, typical examples within our sub-region are those of Niger, Nigeria, DR Congo and recently Sierra Leone just to mention a few. In Sierra Leone, for instance, three days of torrential rains resulted in a mudslide, toppling the regent community in Freetown, Sierra Leone on August 14, 2017. This unfortunate occurrence has been deemed the nation's most devastating natural disaster in recent years, destroying homes, burying locals and killing more than 1,000 people and over 600 people missing. I would want to commend those nations which demonstrated immense love and support, especially the present Government of Ghana under the leadership of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for showing extensive benevolence. Mr Speaker, in Benue State, Nigeria, also, more than 100,000 people were forced to flee their homes, following massive flooding in the central State. Close to 3,000 homes were submerged, leaving thousands of locals homeless. The list goes on and on. Mr Speaker, at this point, I think it is worth mentioning and acknowledging the support from international communities and agencies, both public and private in a quest to assuage the suffering of the victims of these situations. Mr Speaker, apart from the cheque donations and other forms of support from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) among other African regional bodies or organisations, I think various States ought to attach more importance to making sufficient budgetary allocations towards some of these unforeseen circumstances. Mr Speaker, we would agree that Africa is highly limited and virtually handicapped when it comes to disaster management. The extent of damage caused by a hazard is related not just to its severity, but also to the capacity of people living in disaster- prone areas to prepare for and resist it. Efforts to reduce disaster risks therefore focus in part on developing early warning systems to provide timely and effective information that enables people and communities to respond when a disaster hits. Early warning systems are usually combinations of tools and processes embedded within institutional structures, co-ordinated by international and sometimes national disaster agencies. Whether they focus on one particular hazard or many, these systems are composed of four elements: knowledge of the risk, technical monitoring and warning services, dissemination of meaningful warnings to at risk people, and public awareness and preparedness to act. Warning services lie at the core of these systems and how well they operate depends on having a sound scientific basis for predicting and forecasting, and the capability to run warning news accurately and consistently. Mr Speaker, while we expect these regional bodies to increase performance in assisting disaster situations, I urge and advocate that more consistent measures be put in place to prevent such situations or at least, build our support system to adequately respond to such unpleasant situations when they occur, thus my positionality on the sufficient budgetary allocation. It is important that African States strengthen their disaster risk management systems by developing appropriate laws and policies that adequately build capacities in the various Ministries such as the Ministry of Health; build community preparedness and resiliet structures, strengthen awareness and develop national standards for response. This will ensure that the health system is prepared and will be able to provide adequate health sector response to emergencies and reduce their likelihood of becoming disasters.
Mr Speaker, the non-existence of international and local conventions to address some of these situations is a great disadvantage and the need to procure one is long over-due. We all know how conventions work to support relevant matters such as these, and so, it is surprising that at this age and time, we lack it. In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I wish to remind international bodies, stakeholders and all people who matter in this enterprise, that while natural disasters capture headlines and national attention in the short-term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long-term and hence, there is an urgent need to initiate policy moves at procuring and establishing such conventions within the shortest possible time. A word to the wise, they say, is enough. Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Yes, any comments? Hon James Agalga?
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by Hon Annoh-Dompreh. Let me recount how Ghana started taking steps to manage and mitigate disasters. It all started in the 1980s when the world became afflicted with countless disasters. As a result of these afflictions, the Yokohama Conference was called in Japan in 1994 to agree on a common strategy for dealing with disasters in the world.
Mr Speaker, it is important to stress that following the enactment of Act 517, NADMO has had the occasion to deal with several disasters, notably; the outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis in the northern regions in the early 1990s which claimed several lives — Close to 2000 lives were lost in that disaster; the northern floods in 1999 which displaced over 3000 people in the north. In recent times, the June 3rd disaster is very fresh in our memories, and I know Hon Annoh-Dompreh would not forgive me if I fail to mention the Peabo disaster which happened in his constituency and we had the occasion to commensurate with his people in that area. Mr Speaker, let me talk about the June 3rd disaster which claimed over 200 lives, and of course, conservative estimates also has it that in terms of destruction to property and what we lost as a country, we are looking at something in the region of US$ 55 million. Mr Speaker, what this simply means is that, as a country, we have to speed up our efforts when it comes to resourcing the disaster management agency of the State to be able to deal frontally with issues of disaster management and their mitigation. Mr Speaker, I am very confident that some of these factors, a combination of them, resulted in Parliament reconsidering the NADMO Law which was passed in 1996, and the outcome was that we, as a House, re-enacted the NADMO Law which was passed in 2016 by this House. Several interesting provisions were captured in that particular Act. For instance, there is a provision on the establishment of a Disaster Management Fund. The Hon Majority Leader, who was by then the Hon Minority Leader was very vocal when it got to the point for us to debate that particular provision. Mr Speaker, several months down the line, as a country, we are yet to give effect to some of the very important provisions in that Bill. I guess it is important that the Government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), takes a second look at the Bill that was passed in 2016 by this House, to ensure that the provisions are effectuated to the extent that the Disaster Management Fund is duly established. Mr Speaker, the problem we face in this country is not the quality of professionals at the disaster management level. They are very professional. I have had the occasion to work with some of them. They are very qualified and professional. But unfortunately, they do not have the requisite resources to deal with disasters when they happen. So, it is important that as a country — Fortunately, we are approaching the budget cycle once again, and so I would make a direct appeal to the Government to consider allocating resources, so that we can, for once, give effect to those provisions in the new NADMO law which requires us to have a National Disaster Management Fund in place. Mr Speaker, having said that, I would like to conclude, of course, pay homage to previous actors in disaster management in this country. Even before the Yokohama Conference, we in Ghana started managing disasters in one way or the other, and so we had the National Mobilisation Programme, which did very well in terms of managing disasters in this country. Mr Speaker, unfortunately, as we speak, some mobilisation workers who were laid off some time in 2000 have still not received their due by way of compensation. They are scattered across the country. It is sad that people who contributed in managing disasters in this country have themselves suffered a disaster in the making because they were laid off and not paid their due by way of compensation. So, it is an important issue that we must tackle and try to find solutions to as a House. Some of them have died destitute. Mr Patrick Y. Boamah — rose --
Hon Member, why? It is Statements and you are on your feet. Do you want to raise a point of order?
But it is belated. Mr Speaker, I wanted to seek clarification on an issue which he mentioned, that disaster management officers since 2000 have not received their compensation.
No. He got those facts wrong. He has to go and
crosscheck. That was not factual. The staff were not laid off in 2000. Let me allow the back benchers to contribute.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity, and let me also thank the Hon Member who made the Statement for bringing disaster issues to the fore. Mr Speaker, disaster, as the Statement alluded to, is naturally caused by natural occurences or man-made activities; the actions that are normally caused by the activities of man. Mr Speaker, we are so fortunate in Ghana that we do not normally experience natural disasters. Most of the disasters we have been experiencing in Ghana are all man-made. They are due to the activities of man; either through negligence, lack of maintenance of facilities that we have, not adhering to the laws and rules governing the system. It could even be either through not adhering to the land use systems that we have. Mr Speaker, over the years, we have been experiencing fire disasters, and just about a week ago, one of the secondary schools in my constituency also caught fire, and that was not the first time. Just about two weeks prior to this fire, there was another fire in the same secondary school. Even though the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has not actually come out to say what caused it, one can easily conclude that it was due to the activities of man, either as a result of lack of maintenance or the negligence of those who were supposed to take care of what they were supposed to do. Mr Speaker, about three weeks ago, there were floods in Accra and Kumasi. Of course, floods in Accra have been an annual ritual, and even that one, it is always caused by the activities of man. When one goes to Kumasi, due to its topography, we do not have to experience floods. When there is a downpour, the waters that are collected from the higher grounds are supposed to drain into the secondary and primary drains so that they can all flow easily into the down streams. But due to the activities of man, these secondary and primary drains are being attacked. They are being filled here and there. Therefore, the water ways are being choked. Therefore, when it rains, the water finds its way into the houses of people and causes flood. Mr Speaker, the abuse of this land use is just too much; lack of maintenance and negligence all come to the point that we always talk about making sure our institutions work. Most of the institutions, especially when one goes to the District Assemblies, are closing their eyes to the abuse of the land usage. Therefore, to control disasters, if we are not able to tackle the institutions to make sure that the right things are adhered to, they do what is expected of them. We may talk about natural disasters, but in Ghana, as I alluded to earlier, we are fortunate to always experience only the man-made disasters which are caused by the activities of man. Therefore, the authorities, in most of these institutions, must be allowed to work. Once we do that we would be able to control these disasters. Mr Speaker, I thank you and I thank the Hon Annoh-Dompreh who made the Statement for bringing these issues to the fore.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon Annoh- Dompreh. Mr Speaker, the best way to fight disasters is to prevent disasters; in other words, outright avoidance. As ably said, most of the disasters caused in Ghana are man-made. I believe as individual countries in the sub-region, if we are able to prevent disasters in our individual countries, this can aggregate into a total disaster-free sub-region. Mr Speaker, we are currently witnessing the devastation of our environment Rosewood is being harvested in a very thin ecological environment -- the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. These trees we know, hold our soil together and they prevent sand from moving into the Volta Lake and silting the Lake, to an extent that there cannot be water flowing into the dam and subsequently into the sea. Mr Speaker, we also have mining activities where holes are dug and dynamites implanted. This is weakening the earth's crust and with time, we would also experience things like landslides and mud movements. It is important that we do what it takes to manage our environment in ways that would make it disaster-free. Mr Speaker, with the last events of gas explosions, one would note from the reports that came out that there was no coordinated effort in fighting disaster in Ghana. We also note that when there is disaster, there is a need to mitigate the situation, such that recovery can be beneficial in the process. Mr Speaker, you would notice that since the disaster, we have not had any meaningful information how the process was coordinated to minimise the effect of the disaster. What do we therefore see? We see knee jerk reactions to the situations, and we see people reporting in various ways as if they were experts in making those pronouncements. Mr Speaker, I heard over the radio that the tanker driver who died had died not through the disaster but rather through questioning one of his superiors or something like that. When events like these occur, we need specialists' intervention; we need people who have the expertise to talk to people under stress rather than any Tom, Dick and Harry questioning somebody who is supposed to be carrying the heavy burden of contributing to this process, whether it is true of false. For the khebab seller mentioned, we do not know what has happened to him and for others who suffered different levels of injury, we do not know what has happened to them or what would happen to them. We need a coordinated and intelligent way of handling our citizens who are caught in some of these disasters. We also need a very intelligent way of managing our land and environment in general. I believe when we do these little things, we can succeed in mitigating disasters in our country and in the sub-region, as a whole. Thank you for the opportunity, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this Statement ably made by the Hon Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Hon Frank Annoh-Dompreh, on the need for a convention to plan, control and
Hon Members, it is important I remind you that by the Standing Orders of this House you comment on the Statements. You do not contribute to a Statement. You contribute to debates. There are limitations and there are very good reasons you comment on a Statement. So please, let us go by that. These are clearly stated in Standing Orders 70 (2) and 72. We have another Statement to take and that is standing in the name of Hon Suleman Adamu Sanid, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ahafo Ano North. Hon Member, you may make your Statement. Tribute to the Late Hon Kwame Owusu Frimpong
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity. This is a tribute to Hon Kwame Owusu
Hon Members, in view of the Business of the House, I have to extend Sitting beyond the prescribed time. You may go on now.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
Hon Members, this Statement is under Standing Order 71 and strictly speaking, comments are not to be allowed. But by practice, we have often allowed comments and so, upon consultation, I think we would take comments from each side of the House. Hon Yieleh Chireh was on his feet. Yes?
Mr Speaker, I want to first of all, express my condolences to the family and also pray that his soul would be received by our Maker and given a resting place. I know that as a gentleman and as somebody who, by the descriptions that we know about him -- indeed, I came to
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to also make a brief comment about the Hon Colleague who has passed on and, in respect of whom a brilliant eulogy has been rendered here by the Hon Member who now occupies the Ahafo Ano seat. Mr Speaker, as we have been told, the Hon Kwame Owusu Frimpong entered Parliament in January 2001 and served for two terms up to 6th January, 2009. As has already been said, he was the first to have won that seat for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) because when we first entered Parliament in the year 1997, that seat was occupied by an Hon Member from the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He was fortunate to have served his constituents for two consecutive terms. He was a man of very calm demeanour and disposition and harboured no ill-feeling against anybody. Mr Speaker, he was a person who was always ready to learn and took his work in Parliament exceedingly serious. When he joined us in Parliament, he had just left his work at the then Internal Revenue Service, the Value Added Tax (VAT) Division of the then IRS. By dint of hard work, from very humble beginnings, somebody who had more or less, fallen aside from the usual educational stream and found himself as a pupil teacher, he was able to ultimately obtain a Master's Degree before he transitioned. Mr Speaker, the Hon Kwame Owusu Frimpong was a man of the people and almost always present in his constituency, especially over the weekends to join ranks with his people, get to know the problems and challenges in the constituency and ferry same, here on the floor of the House by asking relevant Questions especially relating to the provision of infrastructural facilities. The last time I met the Hon Member was about a year and a half ago in the late 2015. Mr Speaker, he was not in the best of shapes when I first saw him and I realised that something was amiss and upon enquiry, he told me that he had recovered sufficiently at the time when I met him, and that he had suffered some illness. Physically, one could see at the time that he was not in the best of shapes. Mr Speaker, this leads me to the circumstances that many of our Hon Members of Parliament find themselves in once they transit from Parliament. It is important that as a House, we would come to some determination on this matter. In 2008, we wanted to establish a Pension Fund for Hon Members of Parliament, such that once they leave Parliament, they could be taken care of reasonably. Mr Speaker, it is sad to relate that after service to this nation; Hon Members serve one term, two terms, they leave Parliament and in less than three or four months when you see them they would have turned into wretched souls. Mr Speaker, this House should make a determination on this because certainly, what has happened to many of our compatriots who leave this House is not the best. At least, 80 or 90 per cent of those who leave this House are never able to rediscover themselves. Teachers and professionals like medical officers and lawyers who join us cannot go back to their practice. They would have lost all their clients by the time they spend two or three terms here, and it is difficult to restart from ground zero. Teachers cannot go back to their professions because they become a political animal. So, in absorbing them, people begin to think that they may cause some instability in the system, especially when the person's party is no longer in governance, it becomes extremely difficult. Mr Speaker, so, I believe this should spur us on. Mr Speaker, two weeks ago, three former Hon Members of Parliament came to my office at various times and they were all looking for little pittance to survive. This cannot go on. It is a pitiable situation and we should confront it, and see how best we could resolve this problem. This is because, if Hon Members are supported in a way, then a lot of these sudden deaths that we hear of, would not occur. So, let the transition and the death of Kwame Owusu Frimpong lead us on to a straighter path; to salvage the cases of many of our colleagues who are living on the fringes. My prayer to God is that, he should find a peaceful rest in the bosom of God and to the family, especially the nuclear family, we find a way to sustain them. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Hon Members, I could say that I know the late Kwame Owusu Frimpong very well. He was a very humble and unassuming Hon Member of Parliament. He was a man of less words but more action. It is sad that day in, day out, we bury our own; many of whom depart in penury, yet the good people of Ghana still perceive Parliament to be a place of bounty. I believe that we must take the necessary action and I would want to support the position of the Hon Majority Leader that we revisit the recommendation of the Presidential Committee on this matter. I also receive a lot of them on daily basis, and even from those who just lost or opted out in the 2016 general elections. The nature of the work is such that, one can never prepare for exit. It is not possible. You are here to serve the people and you cannot decide at any time that you would stop serving them and serve yourself. So, people always exit here with empty hands and they are not able to take care of themselves and unfortunately, many of them die at home, not even in hospitals. It is sad. It is a serious matter and we would want the Public Affairs Department to assist us to reach out to Ghanaians to understand that this is done not only in the Parliament of Ghana, but in all matured and emerging democracies. So, once again, we mourn one of our former Hon Members, and I would entreat Hon Members to be on their feet and let us give him a minute of silence.
May his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we were to have the Northern Develop- ment Authority Bill, 2017, the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 and the Coastal Development Authority Bill, 2017, all read the Third Time. Mr Speaker, but as I indicated yesterday, the Committee was to engage the officers from the Attorney-General's Department to do some cleaning up of what we had done, and do some reconciliation. I understand that they have finished with it and they were to meet me yesterday, but unfortunately, I had to be in Cabinet yesterday, and we closed after 10.00 p.m. and when I came back, nobody was here. Today, we needed to deal with some challenges relating to the Business Statement. Mr Speaker, so, as I stand here, it has not even come before me. I need to have some time to look at what they have done together with the members of the Committee. Mr Speaker, so, the Third Reading of these Bills would be done on Tuesday, next week, for which reason I would want to thank Hon Colleagues for their endurance and to propose that we take an adjournment until Tuesday at 10.00 a.m. Mr Speaker, it is important to repeat; really in the Business Committee Report, I emphasised the point, that beginning next Tuesday, Parliament would Sit at 10.00 a.m., and it is likely that we shall have extended Sittings in all the days in order to finish with all those Businesses put before us. Mr Speaker, it is past the normal closing time, so, I need not move any Motion for adjournment as you could suo motu adjourn the House until Tuesday at 10.00 a.m.
Yes, Minority Bench, any comment?
Mr Speaker, we do not have any comment except to agree with the Hon Majority Leader's decision that the House be adjourned.