Hon Members, we are starting a bit late because we had to do some internal arrangements towards business. We always want our people to know that we are very conscious of our responsibilities. So, bear with us. We are still on the business.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, item numbered 2 on the Order Paper -- Correction of Votes and Proceedings dated 1st November, 2017. Page 1…17 --
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, on page 8, number 32, I was here yesterday but I have been marked absent.
Thank you very much. Page 18…30 -- Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 1 st November, 2017 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
[No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, 19th October, 2017.]
[No correction was made to the Official Report of Friday, 20th October, 2017.]
Hon Members, item numbered 3 -- Questions. I would make a small variation and move to item numbered 4 on the Order Paper and admit the Question which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Kumbungu to enable the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry go and sort out some very important matter now. Hon Members, we would move on to the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry so as to release him to sort out some very important matter right now. Hon Minister, kindly take the seat. Hon Member for Kumbungu?
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
Mr Speaker, t h e “One District One Factory” (IDIF) initiative is a key component of the industrial transformation agenda of the NPP Government. The programme is designed to set up, at least, one medium-to-large-scale industrial enterprise in each of the 216 districts in Ghana. Through this initiative, government seeks to address the challenge of severe poverty and underdevelopment among peri-urban and rural communities, by attracting private sector investment in rural development activities. The Ministry has so far received 473 business proposals, including Business Plans and Expression of Interests. The Ministry's team of consultants have completed technical, financial and commercial viability analysis of 462 of these proposals, out of which 191 covering 102 districts have been selected for implementation. Mr Speaker, I am happy to inform this Honourable House that two of the prospective investors under the 1D1F initiative, are interested in establishing an organic fertilizer manufacturing plant and a sugar plantation and processing company in the Kumbungu District in the Northern Region. Apart from the job opportunities these two important enterprises will create, they will further open up the Kumbungu District for other complementary economic activities and investments, which will lead to significant wealth creation for the people of Kumbungu and surrounding districts. Mr Speaker, the Ministry is in the process of forming District Implementation Support Teams for the programme in each district to be responsible for the oversight coordination and monitoring of each of these district enterprise projects. I can assure Hon Members of this august House that significant roles will be assigned to them in the implementation of the initiative in their respective districts.
Mr Speaker, from the Hon Minister's Answer, he has indicated that there are two prospective investors who are interested in an organic fertiliser manufacturing plant and a sugar plantation and processing company. My understanding is that, there would be two factories. Mr Speaker, is the Hon Minister positively discriminating for Kumbungu District?
Mr Speaker, the principle underpinning this programme suggests that, at least, one factory would be established in each of the 216 districts. However, it does not exclude the possibility of having more than one factory established in each district based on the interest of potential investors. So, it just happens that Kumbungu has turned out to be a very attractive district for investors. So, one can describe it as positive discrimination in favour of Kumbungu. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Member, remember to be Kumbungu specific. That is the question.
Mr Speaker, I am appropriately guided. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has indicated in his response that they are looking at medium-to-large-scale industries. Following from his Answers, would the proposed factories that are coming into Kumbungu be large or medium-scale industries?
Mr Speaker, I can provide further and better particulars on this particular project to the Hon Member in due course. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, how many jobs are these two factories likely to create for my constituents in Kumbungu?
Mr Speaker, I will not be in the position to provide further details to the Hon Member in respect of this particular matter. But, Mr Speaker, just also to clarify that, at this stage, what we have is an expression of interest by a potential investor. It requires further decisions to be made in terms of providing the necessary equity and sourcing the machinery and equipment before we can ascertain the exact size of the factory. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, Question numbered 183 on the Order Paper, still in the name of the Hon Member for Kumbungu? Prioritising the purchase of made in Ghana goods and services Q.183. Mr Ras Mubarak asked the Minister for Trade and Industry what the Ministry was doing to ensure that national and local government prioritise the purchasing of Made-in-Ghana goods and services.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry is currently reviewing the framework guiding the implementation of the Made-in-Ghana campaign. The goal of the revised strategy is to realign the activities of the Made-in-Ghana campaign to conform to the government's industrial transformation agenda. In view of this, an in-house technical team led by one of my two Deputies has been tasked to undertake this assignment. Mr Speaker, part of the challenge in the past in prioritising the procurement of Made-in-Ghana goods as a policy, has been the limited guarantee of a consistent, reliable supply of competitively-priced locally manufactured goods. It is against this background that five of the components of the Government's Ten- Point Industrial Transformation Agenda have been carefully structured to deal with this challenge, namely the 1D1F initiative, the stimulus package for distressed companies, capacity enhancement programme for high growth SMEs, the establishment of an industrial sub- contracting exchange, and last but not least, the enhancement of domestic retail trade infrastructure. Mr Speaker, in addition to the above, the Ministry has completed a draft Report to support a new policy on Ghanaian participation in the award of contracts by national and local government. The objective, among other things, is to ensure that 70 per cent of all procurement to be financed from public funds should be sourced from locally- produced goods and services. The Ministry will be submitting the relevant legislation to Cabinet and to Parliament for approval, which will significantly enhance the effective promotion and consumption of locally-produced goods and services. Mr Speaker, furthermore, the Ministry is taking decisive steps to enhance the
Thank you very much, Hon Minister. Hon Member, please.
Mr Speaker, I am very grateful. From the Hon Minister's Answer, I am trying to get the understanding of exactly what we are seeking to promote as a country. There has to be something that we should be noted for. For instance, are we seeking to promote Made-in-Ghana goods within the country or there is an attempt to ensure that we are well branded outside the country as well? And if that is the strategy, exactly what should we be noted for? Should we be noted for a country that is number one in the production of gari or locally-made attires? Hon Minister, what is exactly the strategy?
Mr Speaker, as a strategy, we seek to do both. We seek to promote Made-in-Ghana goods to be marketed domestically and also to promote Made-in-Ghana goods in foreign markets. I think that it is a perfectly valid objective to pursue. Now, in respect of supporting the promotion of Made-in-Ghana goods in the domestic markets, there are other interventions that we have put in place to ensure that this takes place. In respect of promoting Made-in-Ghana goods abroad, there is a very compre- hensive programme for export development in targeted markets; the United States of America markets under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), in the European Union market under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), in other African markets under the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). So, there are many activities that are ongoing to support the promotion of Made-in-Ghana goods whether it is in the domestic or external markets.
Mr Speaker, could the Hon Minister give us some timelines within which we could begin to see some fruits bearing as a result of the measures that they are putting in place? Can we get an indication of how long it is going to take before these measures begin to yield dividends?
Mr Speaker, I wish this august House would give me a subsequent time, to provide further details on this matter. But there are things that are already being done currently to promote Made-in-Ghana goods both in the domestic and external markets. Maybe, for lack of time, we cannot provide all the details, but this is already ongoing as an exercise.
I note that this is beyond one constituency and that is the reason.
Mr Speaker, I need your direction on an issue that has caught my attention. The Hon Minister for Trade and Industry came to answer Question numbered 182 on the Order Paper which is on the ‘One District, One Factory' initiative. Mr Speaker, the Budget for the year 2017 allocated money for the ‘One District, One Factory' to the Office of Government Machinery. We would want a clarification whether that project is under his outfit or the Hon Minister for Special Development Initiatives.
That is a general concern you are making. You are talking about something generally and globally. It does not relate to this Question.
Hon Member, do you intend to ask a supplementary question on the matter? If you do, you may, because it is not a constituency-specific Question.
Mr Speaker, rightly so. The Hon Minister did indicate some measures, programmes and policies that they intend to put in place and roll-out to ensure that we remain competitive. If we look at the Budget, it also made some specific targets. May I find out from the Hon Minister, what their targets are for the end of the year in terms of imports? This is because all these aim to deal with dumping as he said. For instance, if we take rice, what are their targets in terms of the reduction in imports based on the --
Hon Member, ask a question based on Made-in-Ghana goods. I would move on to the next Question. Question numbered 184 in the name of the Hon Member for Cape Coast South. Hon Member, you may ask your Question. Re-starting the Komenda Sugar Factory and the development of sugarcane plantations and irrigation Q.184. Mr George Kweku Ricketts- Hagan asked the Minister for Trade and Industry the steps the Ministry was taking to re-start the Komenda Sugar Factory and the development of sugarcane plantations and irrigation through the out- grower scheme.
Mr Speaker, Mr. Speaker, although the Komenda Sugar Factory was formally commissioned by the previous Administration in May, 2016, there were very serious challenges that constrained the operations of the company right from inception, This included the lack of consistent and reliable supply of sugarcane for continuous processing after the initial test run. The Ministry, as a result of this, constituted a team of Ghanaian experts to conduct a comprehensive technical audit of the factory. The mandate of the experts included the following; To ensure that the factory conforms to the technical specifications agreed in the project document and the operational plan. To ensure that the sugarcane nursery that was also part of the project has been developed in line with the terms of engagement of the contractor. To determine the current value of the factory. Mr Speaker, the Ministry has, therefore, decided to implement the following recommendations as contained in the experts' report to revive the factory: To ensure full compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract with the factory plant contractors, by ensuring that the remaining parts of the plant are fully installed and operationalised. To negotiate and pay outstanding debts due the contractors to ensure a full take-over by Government of the factory assets. To appoint a governing Board of Directors to provide high level strategic direction and leadership for the company, pending a full decision on the shares divestment options which is currently being explored with the advice of the Transaction Advisor for the particular project. To develop and implement a Plantation and Out-Grower Scheme using the US$24.5 million Indian EXIM Credit Facility to ensure the cultivation of about 14,100 acres of sugarcane in the Central and Western regions.
Any follow-up questions?
Mr Speaker, following the Hon Minister's Answer, I would want to find out from him when the US$24.5 million which was approved by this august House would be accessed to actually get the Komenda Sugar Factory to be operational.
Mr Speaker, the practice for accessing and using facilities from the Indian EXIM Credit Facility has to go through a certain process. We are currently at a stage where a Detailed Project Report (DPR) is being prepared by a team of consultants that were selected as part of this process, and it is only when the DPR is completed that we could move to the next stage of actual implementation. So, it is on course.
Mr Speaker, may I now ask the Hon Minister to correct the impression that has been formed by Ghanaians, particularly the people of Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem District, that the Government has not intentionally left the Komenda Sugar Factory to rot.
Hon Minister, you may answer the Question.
Mr Speaker, if I understood the Question, then regrettably, I am not sure that I would be able to do exactly what the Hon Member is saying. My understanding of the Question is that, some impression had been formed in the minds of people, but I am not too sure about what has given that impression. What we could do is what I have done; to provide a status report of the factory and to also indicate the steps that are being undertaken to bring the factory into operation.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much. The Hon Minister in his Answer said that, “the Ministry has, therefore, decided to implement the following recom- mendations”. Mr Speaker, may I know from the Hon Minister what are the timelines that we have? Is it going to take one, two or three years? Could the Hon Minister give us a timeline as the people of Komenda-Edina-Eguafo- Abrem are waiting for this factory to start producing sugar?
Hon Minister, what is the time approximation?
Mr Speaker, as I indicated, the technical Report that has been prepared has given us a certain direction which provides the roadmap for what needs to be done. For now, what I can say is that certain components of the factory installation have to be completed based on the advice of the technical audit that was undertaken. That is one component of it, but I am unable to give specifications on how long that exercise would take. Secondly, as I have alluded to, the detailed project report would also give us an indication of the timeframe for the plantation development exercise to be completed. It is only when we have clarity on those two timeframes that I would be able to provide a detailed answer in respect of that Question. Mr Speaker, thank you.
This is a Komenda- specific Question. [Laughter.] If you read the Question, you would see that it relates directly to Komenda. If you want an answer to a general Question, then ask a general Question.
Mr Speaker, this is a Ghana-specific Question. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, the implementation plan that the Ministry has put together so far in terms of the One District, One Factory Project.
Hon Minister, the implementation plan for the One District, One Factory? Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu -- rose
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, the Hon Member has filed a Question that you have admitted and for which reason the Hon Minister has been summoned to offer a response. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is reading another Question altogether, so, you may direct him to read the Question that he has filed. [Interruption.] No, that is not what he did and he knows it.
Hon Member, you may read your Question again. Q.185. Mr George Kweku Ricketts- Hagan asked the Minister for Trade and Industry the implementation plan and the start of the “One District, One Factory” Initiative.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry at the inception phase of the One District One Factory initiative, developed a Concept Paper and an Implementation Framework to guide the roll out of the programme. This was followed by a formal Request for Expressions of Interest from the Business and Investor Community, through publications in selected national newspapers. The programme was launched officially in August 2017, by His Excellency the President, in Ekumfi in the Central Region. The launch by the President officially marked the outdooring and commence- ment of the implementation of the programme. Mr Speaker, some of the key elements of the Implementation Framework include the following: Review the existing profiles of the natural resource endowments of each district. Identify business promoters and potential investors interested in participating in the 1D1F initiative. Review and select Business Plans and Proposals submitted by potential investors that respond to the eligibility criteria proposed under the initiative. Hold consultations with the District Assemblies, Members of Parliament, Business Promoters and other relevant stakeholders in the districts to validate and endorse each project to be supported under the initiative. Establish District Implementation Support Teams, and initiate relevant activities assigned to the various teams Mobilise technical and financial support for the selected District Enterprise Projects.
Hon Minister, thank you very much. Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, he mentioned 462 of the proposals received and 191 of them that relate to 102 districts. What I would want to find out from the Hon Minister specifically is, how many of these factories would be completed this year? How many would be completed next year and how many would be completed in the four-year term?
Hon Member, obviously, your question is speculative. The Hon Minister has taken the trouble to give us a plan in the Answer. You might ask a question on the plan where they receive and review the various projects and matters related to them even up to a programme for implementation. I am repeating what he said. I wrote it. I am very detailed in what I do. So, now, you might ask a question regarding, that but as to the futuristic issues, we are not going to look into any crystal ball here. Hon Member, you might continue.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for your guidance. Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister whether any of the factories would be completed this year.
Mr Speaker, the implementation of each project would be based on the business plan and the timeframe for each of the project. Mr Speaker, as I alluded to earlier, these are not State enterprises that are being established. These are enterprises that are to be established by the private sector with the support of Government. The distance between approving the business plan, having consultations with the District Assemblies and Hon Members of Parliament being able to raise all the finances required is specific to each project. Mr Speaker, so, regrettably, I am unable to make a statement on the floor as to how many factories would be established. It would be based on the specific business plans.
Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, he has laid out all the efforts being made to establish the factory. I know the ultimate objective is to actually have a physical structure with the machine running with some biscuits being produced in the next four years. [Interruption.] Well, it could be biscuit or starch.
Order! Hon Member, ask the question and do not make a policy statement.
Mr Speaker, based on the steps being taken, could the Hon Minister tell us how many of these factories would be completed physically to create jobs for the people of Ghana by the end of the term of the Government, based on what we know right now?
Mr Speaker, in my earlier response, I indicated that the implementation of each district enterprise project on a case by case would be dependent on the particular business plan, and I have suggested that there is a distance between the approval of the business plan and mobilising the necessary capital to finance the project. It is only at that point that we can determine when the factories would be established.
Hon Pelpuo, and then I would come to Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa. Then we shall finish with that.
Mr Speaker, I would like to use this opportunity to reiterate one point, that what we are seeking to do as government, is to support the private sector to be able to mobilise investments to establish these factories on a case by case basis. So, the provision of financial resources from the Government is only to complement the investment that would come from the private sector. In this regard, if the Hon Member looks at the Appropriation that was specifically made for our Ministry, Industrial Development and Export Council (IDEC) there was a provision for a certain amount allocated under the IDEC to support each district in contributing to the esta- blishment of the one district, one factory project. So, essentially, the financing is not the responsibility of Government. However, there is strong government facilitation, on a case by case basis because of the Appropriation that has been made, Government might provide some equity investment in a particular enterprise. That is, if it is required, and we have indicated in our implementation framework that, if that becomes a requirement, Government's investment would not exceed 30 per cent. So, that is all provided for in our implementation framework.
Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, especially, in paragraph 5, he said he was holding consultations with district assemblies. And I believe the Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/ Abrem Municipality is part of it. Could the Hon Minister throw some light on the report from the PriceWaterHouseCoopers Limited and the Report he received on the Komenda Sugar Factory?
Hon Member, you are out of order in so far as the relevant Question *185 is concerned. [Interruption.] Order! By the way, an Hon Member of Parliament in standing on his or her feet in this Honourable House stands alone as a person elected by his or her constituents
Yes, Hon Member, you may ask your question.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity, and thank you for --
Hon Member, please, quickly ask your question.
Mr Speaker, my constituency share a common boundary with the -- [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, from the Hon Minister's Answer to the Question, we have been informed that there is a review and certain analysis going on within some of the projects.
Hon Member, is it in relation to Question 185? [Interruptions.] --
Hon Members, order! Hon Member, you should speak to Question numbered 185.
Mr Speaker, I would humbly speak to Question numbered 185.
Hon Member, you should speak to Question 185, otherwise, I would move on. Yes, Hon Okudzeto, you may speak, and that would be the last question.
Mr Speaker, on the last paragraph -- [interruption.]
Hon Okudzeto, you should address me, not anyone else.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for the opportunity to ask the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry a Question from the last paragraph of the Answers provided to Question 185.
“… The Ministry's team of Consultants have completed technical, financial and commercial viability analysis of 462 of the proposals received, out of which 191 covering 102 Districts have been selected for implementation.” Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister when the remaining districts can envisage that they would also receive this promise of a One District, One Factory.
“One District, One Factory”, and there are 216 districts in Ghana. Now, we have102 districts, whose implementation plans are ready. So, how about the remaining districts? What are the plans for the remaining districts?
Yes, Hon Minister? This is a very relevant question.
Mr Speaker, thank you. Mr Speaker, as I indicated earlier, for the purposes of each district enterprise, we require an expression of interest to come from a business promoter or potential investors. Mr Speaker, so far, what we have received and analysed are proposals from business promoters and potential investors. Therefore, by logical implication, it would suggest that if there are no proposals received from business promoters for a number of districts, then government would have to take a decision to make an initial investment to incubate the project on the basis of which a promoter may then be identified, who would then take over the responsibility for the investment of that company, but not until we complete this initial exercise, consistent with our principle. I believe that it would be inappropriate for us not to presume that there would be other promoters that may be interested in the other districts. So, until we have the full indication that a particular district may not necessarily have a business promoter or investor interested in establishing a particular factory, government would take a decision on a case by case basis.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, in one of the Answers provided by the Hon Minister about the shareholding of the companies, the Hon Minister indicated that, on a case by case basis, government may acquire shares in some of these companies if asked. Mr Speaker, my question to the Hon Minister is that, not on case by case basis, what is going to be the reward for government for the facilitation for these companies that are going to be established? Is there going to be any reward to government for facilitating the process?
Mr Speaker, thank you. Mr Speaker, the number one priority and objective of this government is to create jobs and I believe that we have reflected this in our Manifesto and in our programmes and projects that we are rolling out. Mr Speaker, therefore our under- standing is that when we provide facilitation even without a financial investment, the returns to government would be the creation of jobs, payment of taxes, and the improvement in the general standard of living of rural communities. Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Member would recall that, in an earlier statement on the implementation of this initiative, we made it clear that, our interest is to bring industrialisation to the door step of the ordinary person. So, for us, this is an attempt to revive the rural economies in this country, and so we believe that there is some benefit that would accrue to government, even when there is no financial return. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister. Hon Members, Question numbered 186 by the Hon Member for Cape Coast South. Pursuit of the “Brand Ghana” Concept, the “Made-in-Ghana” Initiative and the Campaign Launched by the Ministry Q.186. Mr George Kweku Ricketts- Hagan asked 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 were still being pursued.
Mr Speaker, the ‘Brand Ghana' and ‘Made-in-Ghana' concepts are two important initiatives playing complementary roles in projecting the image of Ghana and helping to market Ghanaian brands both home and abroad. The direction of the NPP Government is to align the ‘Brand GHANA' with the concept of industrialisation to actualise the real meaning of branding. The alignment will also ensure that, a strong foundation is laid for the activities of the Brand Ghana office. Mr Speaker when we talk about branding, there must be something distinctive to promote or identify that brand with. It is in this regard that we seek to redirect the concept and model to present Ghana as a true and visible brand. In pursuit of this, the Ministry is continuing with the Made in Ghana brand Ambassadors concept introduced by the previous administration for specific product promotion whiles creating MIG Committees in the various trade and industry associations to improve patronage and create import substitutes. In addition, Mr Speaker, a major collaborative effort between the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, GIPC, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the Ghana Free Zones Authority, has been launched to promote Ghana as an investment destination of choice. The Brand Ghana concept which is supposed to promote the Ghana brand on the international stage is at the center of this promotional drive. Mr Speaker, in order to leverage the significant contributions of this concept towards the promotion and marketing of locally produced goods and services,
Hon Member, you may ask a supplementary question and then there would be two more questions so that we can move to the other Questions still pending. The hour for Question time is virtually gone.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister talked about distinctiveness so, I would want to ask him specifically what strategies this Government would explore in terms of branding Ghana to a unique selling point, giving gives Ghana a competitive edge over say, our neighbours in the sub-region for example?
Mr Speaker, as I indicated early on, we are aligning the Brand Ghana concept with our industrialisation transformation agenda and there is a very comprehensive programme, a 10 point plan, for industrial transformation. I am not sure, Mr Speaker, that I would have the benefit of providing the details within such a short time. But if this honourable House would require further elaboration on the 10 point agenda, to illustrate how this would be aligned to the Brand Ghana concept, I would be more pleased, Mr Speaker, to provide those details.
Two supplementary questions.
Mr Speaker, I wanted to cede my second question to Hon --
Hon Member, I have indicated the rules; you are not ceding anything. He may also ask a supplementary question. Hon Member, you may please proceed.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister indicated that, they are going to form trade ambassadors. At the various Missions and High Commissions, we have trade attaches. Would the formation of trade ambassadors not render all of these people who are already paid by the taxpayer redundant?
Will the trade ambassadors make our personnel at the embassies responsible for that same thing redundant? Is that your question? In other words, they are superfluous.
Mr Speaker, if I may, it might be useful for me to make a little clarification on this matter. I made a reference to Made-in-Ghana ambassadors, which is an initiative that was introduced by the previous Government. We are continuing because we believe it is a good concept. That is different from this proposal to appoint honorary trade representatives in key strategic markets.
The last question from the floor. Leadership -- Hon Majority Leader, do you have a question?
Mr Speaker, no question.
Hon Minister, we are grateful for you attending to the House and answering our Questions. You are discharged. Hon Minister for the Interior, you may please take the seat. We would move on to Urgent Questions. Item listed 3 on the Order Paper, standing in the name of the Hon Frimpong Addo.
Mr Speaker, I have been informed that the Hon Member is unavoidably absent and he has requested that the Hon Member for Oforikrom asks the Question on his behalf.
The Hon Member to ask an Urgent Question is absent. If you urgently pull an Hon Minister to the House, you must be urgently present when the Question is asked. Hon Majority Leader, I do not know if you have a view on that. I do not really mind which side of the House the Hon Member who asked the Question comes from. But I thought that, Urgent Question is a different process and if you urgently ask a Question, you must be urgently present to prosecute your Urgent Question.
Mr Speaker, the Question was programmed to be answered by the Hon Minister. Un- fortunately, when the Hon Member came, the Hon Minister was absent. The Hon Minister requested that we re-programme it to today. The Hon Member has an appointment in the constituency, so, he requested that we re-programme it. But there are other Questions that the Hon Minister is required to answer for which reason he then requested for the Hon Member for Oforikrom to ask the Question on his behalf. Mr Speaker, with respect, that is the situation.
So, there is a good reason for us to allow that, on this occasion. Hon Members must please note that they are expected, particularly with regard to an Urgent Question -- You know what the rules provide. You must be here to prosecute them. Hon Member, you may please ask the Question in this instance.
MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR
Hon Member, do you intend to ask any supplementary question?
Mr Speaker, I am pleased with the response from the Hon Minister. Thank you. Urgent Question
Thank you very much. We move on to the rest of the Ordinary Questions, item numbered 4. Yes, Mr First Deputy Speaker?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I regret that I did not catch your eyes before—
You may please proceed.
Mr Speaker, the area in question is an area which is traversed every day by my constituents. And the incident of robbery on that specific road is very key. Mr Speaker, I do know for a fact if the security personnels to man the checkpoints are very minimal so, they are not able to do the twenty-four hour security they have programmed. Would the Hon Minister consider increasing the number of personnels in the Municipality so that they would have sufficient— This is because, there is a lot of gold mining activities going on there. There is anti galamsey operation actually targeted at miners moving back and forth. So, the number of police personnel available at that area, as I know, is not sufficient to provide the twenty-four hour security on the highway. I want to know whether the Hon Minister would consider increasing the number of police personnel on that road to stem the robbery.
Thank you very much. Question 152, Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri? Plans to ensure payment of compensation to victims of the Puebo explosion Q. 152. Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh asked the Minister for the Interior what plans were 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.
Thank you, Hon Minister. Shall we move on to the next Question?
Mr Speaker, I have a follow up question.
Question numbered 153?
Mr Speaker, I have supplementary questions.
Hon Member, you may ask one supplementary question.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful and I take a cue accordingly. Mr Speaker, I have with me the said Report of the Puebo explosion and I intend, with your guidance, to make some good reference to the Report, if you permit me, Mr Speaker.
You would ask a question, and not make a speech.
Mr Speaker, my question is, provisions in the Report state that liability is supposed to be squarely laid at the doorsteps of the company in question. However, on the grounds of magnanimity, Government is supposed to come in and complement the efforts of the company. Mr Speaker, I have taken a good notice of the Answer of the Hon Minister on the GH¢100,000 cheque to be provided. It took two years for the company to raise that amount. I would want to find out from the Hon Minister if he would make some attempts to get some support from Government to complement what the company provides since there were over 2000 affected victims. If we did simple mathematics, GH¢100,000 divided by 2,000, on the average, it means each individual would get GH¢50.00 which is, in the words of the Hon Minister, woefully adequately. Would he make attempts to get support from Government to complement what the company provides?
Mr Speaker, as I indicated earlier, the Ministry is quite clear that the compensation is inadequate. We also said that the matter has been waiting pending further advice. However, we have not completed our negotiations with the company, neither have we exhausted other avenues to try to get further compensation. I would plead with the Hon Member of Parliament -- we need to pursue all avenues. We should also emphasise that it is the company's responsibility. Where we find that the company has done its best and cannot do more, it is then open for other considerations. When it gets there, the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice would be duly consulted before any commitments could be made. As it stands now, the Committee's Report has clearly stated that it is the company's responsibility, and we need to pursue that.
We would move to Question numbered 153. Hon Member for Kpando? Collaboration with Nigeria to prevent crime Q.153. Mrs Della Sowah asked the Minister for the Interior what steps were being taken to collaborate with Nigerian counterparts towards preventing crimi- nals like the kidnapper, Evans Uchenna, who was reported by the Vanguard newspaper to have used proceeds to buy 2 houses in Ghana, from doing so.
Hon Member, one follow- up question.
I want to commend the Hon Minister for taking time to explain details on what they are doing on human trafficking. I would want to find out from him what steps are being taken to also prevent criminals from making Ghana a safe haven for them?
Mr Speaker, I can assure the Hon Member that we are making Ghana a very unattractive destination for criminals and human trafficking. As for the victims, we are working with the American Embassy to make sure that we have safe havens for them. However, Ghana would not be a safe haven for criminals. We would collaborate with our neighbours and flush out all criminal gangs.
Hon Members, you know that time is far spent. I would move on to Question 154, which is in the name of the Hon Member for Kumbungu. Fire safety checks in public high-rise buildings across the country Q. 154. Mr Mubarak asked the Minister for the Interior whether fire safety checks had been undertaken in public high-rise buildings across the country; and if not, what steps were being taken in that regard.
Hon Member, you may ask one supplementary question. I have already indicated it. We have two minutes to conclude. We have been doing Questions for one hour and 15 minutes.
Mr Speaker, 890 public buildings have been audited, and I would want to know the outcome of the audit. I would also want to know how many of these buildings have in place the necessary measures, and how many have fallen short of the necessary measures that are supposed to be in place to prevent any fire incident.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member of Parliament has skilfully bundled several questions. I would need those specific questions on notice to be able to give him the details.
Hon Members, thank you very much. This would end Question time. Hon Minister, you are discharged. We are grateful for patiently waiting to answer the Questions; but you are an Hon Member of the House, so you are sitting in your right home. Hon Members, item numbered 6a on the Order Paper.
Hon Members, item numbered 7-- Motion. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, we would jump to item numbered 11, which is the continuation of the Consideration Stage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017. [Pause] --
Hon Majority Leader, which item would we take at this time?
Mr Speaker, I said we could deal with item numbered 11 on page 5 on the Order Paper.
Hon Majority Leader, is there an indication that there is any difficulty about matters prior to that? Can we not proceed with item numbered 9?
Mr Speaker, there are a few things that we would need to do by way of sanitising the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 for it to qualify to be read the Third time. In respect of the Report of the Committee on Defence and Interior on the Fulani herdsmen menace in the country, we have agreed to take it tomorrow. Mr Speaker, on item numbered 9, we just laid that Paper for distribution to Hon Members.
Hon Members, item numbered 11 on the Order Paper -- Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
Mr Speaker, with clause 6, subclause (4), a debate arose whether “proceedings”, which appeared in line 3, should be qualified with the word “criminal”. Mr Speaker, I remember vividly that the consensus was that we should not qualify “proceedings” with “criminal” because, the need may arise for civil proceedings to be also instituted against the member. We came to a definitive conclusion with respect to this particular proposed amendment. Mr Speaker, please, you may go ahead and put the Question.
“A member of the Board who contravenes this section ceases to be a member of the Board except that cessation of membership shall not be a bar to the institution of proceedings against such member”. [Pause] --
Hon Chairman of the Committee, please, lead us on as to what exactly you would want at this stage, and if you would, read the resultant rendition to us.
Mr Speaker, I would want to propose further amendments to the provision. In line 3, I would delete “such” and insert “that” so it would read: “except that cessation of member- ship shall not be a bar to the institution of proceedings against that member.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman, is that the only amendment to clause 6, so that I would put the Question regarding the clause as a whole — [Pause.] Hon Chairman, I am told that there were some further corrections.
Mr Speaker, rightly so.
If you would draw our attention to any such other one, it would enable me to put the Question on the clause as a whole. That was what I drew your attention to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6, subclause (4), line 2, delete “of the Board”. The new rendition would read: “A member of the Board who contravenes this section ceases to be a member, except that cessation of membership shall not be a bar to the institution of proceedings against that member.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman, any other corrections relating to clause 6 before we put the Question on the entire clause? 12.44 p.m. —
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon Chairman, continue.
Mr Speaker, it appears that the Question has not been put on the whole of clause 6. Clause 6 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Hon Members, item numbered ii, which stands in the name of the Hon Minority Leader. Clause 13-- Functions of Special Prosecutor.
Mr Speaker, at the winnowing stage, we agreed that “functions” include duties. So, on that basis, I am withdrawing the proposed amendment.
Hon Members, item numbered iii.
Mr Speaker, that would be consequential in respect of item numbered iii as well as — there are about three proposals in respect of ‘functions and duties' — When we get there.
Very well. Hon Members, item numbered (iii) is also accordingly withdrawn.
Hon Members, item numbered iv.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 13, subclause (2), at the beginning, insert “Despite subsection (1)” and in line 3, before “section”, insert “subsection (1) of”.
“Despite subsection (1), the Special Prosecutor shall have full authority and control over the investigation, initiation and conduct of proceedings under paragraph (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (1) of section 3.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, item numbered 11 (v) on the Order Paper. Mr Bernard Ahiafor — rose --
Hon Member, what is it?
Mr Speaker, before I come to item numbered 11 (v), I have a reservation on clause 13, subclause (3), and with your leave, if I may raise it at this point.
“The Special Prosecutor may delegate a function to an authorised Office but shall not be relieved of the ultimate responsibility for the performance of the delegated function.” Mr Speaker, we know from article 88 that it is the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice who has the exclusive prosecutorial power, and the Attorney- General authorises the Special Prosecutor by way of delegating part of his or her powers to the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, delegation involves an assignment of responsibility. So, the Attorney-General assigns that respon- sibility to the Special Prosecutor. The principle goes; a delegated power cannot be further delegated — delegatus non potest delegare. Now, the Special Prosecutor, who has a delegated authority, is being legislated to further delegate that particular delegated function given to him. Mr Speaker, I feel that once it is a delegated function being exercised, it cannot, by the principle, be further delegated. Mr Speaker, that is my humble view.
Hon Chairman and Hon Members, his argument is that since the authority given to the Special Prosecutor is delegated, he should not have any power to further delegate that. I want to hear from you.
Mr Speaker, first of all, I respectfully disagree with him in the sense that the principle he quoted is common
Hon Member, he can be somewhere. You mean he cannot be everywhere?
Mr Speaker, he cannot be everywhere at the same time to prosecute or investigate criminal matters or criminal- related matters. Mr Speaker, thirdly, the power that is being given to the Special Prosecutor is to the Office. This has been explicitly and clearly stated in the Bill. To that extent, the Special Prosecutor could assign some of his functions to any other person to perform same on his behalf. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, he came to the position that I thought we should take. This is because the principle is delegatus non potest delegare -- to wit; “a power which is delegated cannot be further delegated”. Mr Speaker, having used “delegate” is why confusion is emanating, but he has the power to assign responsibilities. So, I move an amendment that, subclause (3) must stay. This is because for the Office to function, the Special Prosecutor must have the authority to assign. Ultimate responsibility, even for that assignment must be in place of delegation. Ultimate responsibility would still reside with the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 13, subclause (3), line 1, after “may”, delete “delegate a function” and insert “assign a responsibility” and in line 3, after “of the”, delete “delegated function” and insert “assigned responsibility”. So, Mr Speaker, it reads: “The Special Prosecutor may assign a responsibility to an authorised officer but shall not be relieved of the ultimate responsibility for the performance of the assigned responsibility”.
Hon Members, there is a new proposal that we should substitute “delegation” with “assignment”. It is for the consideration of the House.
Mr Speaker, I believe that would satisfy the issue raised. Mr Speaker, at the winnowing, the idea was canvassed that it could be administrative, but there is a common template of all the pieces of legislations that we have crafted. So, I believe that, for the avoidance of doubt, we should retain it; except to couch it in a language as expressed by the Hon Member for Tamale Central.
Hon Chairman, do you have a sponsor? I have a problem with bringing principles in the law of agency when we come to crafting statutes. The principle of non delegatus relates to agency -- as in a private person assigning a responsibility to somebody. When it comes to State power, then no Hon Minister would assign any responsibility because the Executive power lies with the President. Every Hon Minister's responsibility is assigned by the President but in all Bills, the Hon Ministers and heads of agencies are given the power to also delegate. If we can reach consensus, I would work with it. I want to hear the Hon Chairman.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, whether assignment or “delegation”, the bottom line is that a function is being ceded for somebody else to do. To that extent, I would not have a problem with the proposed amendment by the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee. Question put and amendment agreed to. Hon Chairman, you may now move the next amendment.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 13, add the following new sub- clause: “(3) The Special Prosecutor shall exercise such trial and appellate powers that are necessary for the performance of the functions of the Office.”
Hon Chairman, what is the meaning of that? Are we making him a judge?
Mr Speaker, probably, what we intend to convey has not been well crafted. All that we want to say is that the Special Prosecutor, apart from initiation of prosecution at the court of first instance, could also appeal against same at the appellate court, or he could be dragged to the appellate court by the other party. This is the idea we are conveying in order to be double sure that his authority or duty of powers do not end at the court of first instance, so that if he takes the matter to the High Court and it is determined and it goes on appeal, he still has the power to proceed to that Appeal Court to be heard. That is the idea we are conveying. Mr Speaker, if we take the case of the Police, for instance, we all know that their prosecutors have the power to prosecute right from the District or Magistrate Courts up to the Circuit Courts. When the matter is determined at the Circuit Court and it has to go to the High Court, the Police do not have any power to proceed. It is left with the Attorneys at the Attorney-General's Department to take up the matter from there and prosecute same at the High Court.
Hon Members, your leader is on his feet. [Interruption]
Mr Speaker, I was of the belief that the Hon Chairman of the Committee would take a cue from your guidance. The judicial power of Ghana is vested in the Judiciary under article 125 of the Constitution. Reference to the word, ‘trial' and ‘appellate' would only be extending the powers of the Special Prosecutor to one of an adjudicator. That is not the intention of this Bill nor can it be the intention of the legislation. In the criminal trial process, it is the word of the prosecutor against that Individual undergoing a criminal trial. That is why it is the State versus the Individual. Therefore, if he says the Special Prosecutor shall exercise such trial -- Which trial? The ambit of trial rest with the Judiciary. What we do know is for the Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute. But Mr Speaker, even as he gathers evidence, it is not prima facie that conclusively the accused person is guilty. Constitutionally, there is the presumption of innocence. So, we cannot vest the Special Prosecutor with appellate powers. He is just like the Attorney-General who is delegating the power. If the Attorney-General loses a criminal matter, she knows the procedure to follow. She knows that there is the hierarchy of the court and she would go through it in order to determine the matter. Therefore, Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee should abandon this and allow the Special Prosecutor to exercise the investigative and prosecutorial roles. That is what we are told is being delegated. Mr Speaker, we should not forget that in the criminal trial, even the difficulty would be to relate it to the evidence decree. I have investigated; I am tendering my own evidence. The Special Prosecutor will be giving his evidence. That is not conclusive. The accused person may deny and would fight it legally. Therefore, Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee should stand down clause 13(3). I thank you.
Mr Speaker, I believe what the Hon Chairman of the Committee seeks to do is to establish the powers, rights and privileges of the Special Prosecutor akin to what is done to Parliament in article 103(6). So, I thought that the proper rendition should be: “The Special Prosecutor shall have the powers, rights and privileges of the Appeal Court Judge or a Justice of the Appeal Court at a trial for enforcing the attendance of witnesses…” Mr Speaker, just as it is done for Parliament, and I am quoting from article 103(6).
Hon Majority Leader, the Special Prosecutor is only a party in a criminal case. He cannot enforce attendance. When we Sit in Parliament, we are like judges in a court of our own. I believe what the Chairman of the Committee wants to do is to say that, when a case goes against the Special Prosecutor, he or she has the power to appeal up to the highest level. But I think that power is already implicit in his power to prosecute. So, in my view, it is not necessary. We may just jettison it and proceed. That is my suggestion, anyway. Yes, Hon Ahiafor?
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to support your position. The authority of the Attorney-General to prosecute has in it, the power to either appeal and prosecute the appeal. If the appeal is emanating from the side of the defence, the Attorney- General, again, has that automatic power to proceed and prosecute the defence. Mr Speaker, once that prosecutorial power relates to corruption and corrup- tion-related matters, I believe that automatically, the Special Prosecutor has that power to prosecute even up to the Supreme Court. So, there is absolutely no need legislating on this issue.
Mr Speaker, we do not have to belabour the point. I completely agree. So, we would drop it.
Hon Members, the proposed amendment, item numbered v is withdrawn. Question put and agreed to. Clause 13 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 14 -- Removal of the Special Prosecutor
Hon Dafeamekpor, you may now move item numbered VI.
Mr Speaker, very well. As before, this is also withdrawn.
Very well. I believe there is an Order Paper Addendum 2 which proposes amendments to clause 14(1). Hon Chairman of the Committee, you may now move the amendment on the Order Paper Addendum 2.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 14, subclause (1), add the following new paragraph: “(a) for the wilful violation of the oath of office and the oath of secrecy” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 14, subclause (1), paragraph (b), delete and insert the following: “(b) for incapacity to perform the functions of the office by reason of infirmity of body or mind” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 14, subclause (1), add the following new paragraph: “(c) for conduct which (i) brings or is likely to bring the Office of the Special Prosecutor into disrepute, ridicule or contempt; or (ii) is prejudicial or inimical to the economy or security of the state.”
Mr Speaker, I support the amendment, but I was wondering whether the Hon Chairman of the Committee, with your leave and indulgence, would accept an addition of subclause (iii). He can only be removed, so, I would add to it as “extraordinary impropriety” I have perused other legislations and as I indicated yesterday, when the Special Prosecutor -- the Attorney-General can choose not to be happy with the Special Prosecutor. It has happened in many jurisdictions but it should be difficult for the Attorney-General or the President to get the Special Prosecutor removed. So, we should qualify it and that is why I am asking if there is no objection, I would add an (iii) to (ii) which says: (ii) “is prejudicial or inimical to the economy or security of the state” (iii) extraordinary impropriety. So that we must have a weightier reason to want to remove the Special Prosecutor. Other than that tomorrow, a government would say that he took a goat from somewhere, therefore, he must go home. This is because he may be dealing with a matter that they are not happy about. -- [Interruption]--
Hon Members, well, yes. The Hon Minority Leader proposes that we add a sub clause (iii); “extraordinary impropriety”
Mr Speaker, it is almost akin to looking for an exhaust pipe. “extraordinary impropriety”, how do we define that? How firm can we be? It would mean that we shovel a lot of situations into that “extraordinary impropriety” and seek to get rid of him through the back door. Mr Speaker, I believe that ‘disrepute', ‘ridicule', ‘contempt'; prejudicial or inimical” are indeed very strong words which are reasonably well defined to enable the Special Prosecutor come within a frame where that person needs to be punished or relieved of their authority. I beg to submit that “extraordinary impropriety” is too broad and nebulous. It would be the biggest omnibus pipe through which the Special Prosecutor can fly. We would rather, not have it.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader discussed that with me. We are looking at a Legislation -- it is unfortunate that we could not go to Singapore. He is deriving inspiration from the Legislation in Singapore, it is worth looking at it. This is because we would want to see that we have covered the likely circumstances that can encourage, promote or engender the removal of the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, it is not an exhaust pipe and even if it is, it is good. This is because we are trying to channel and remove all the waste from the Bill. Except that, I would also advise that the way the Bill has been couched: ‘the conduct which' -- So, I was just asking that either we consider flagging it or we arrest it during the Third Reading. So that we could provide further and better particulars of how it is used in the Legislation in Singapore.
Mr Speaker, much as I appreciate the principle underpinning the suggestion by the Hon Minority Leader, in Singapore where it is used, and we related to best practices. Canada, Malaysia, Philippines are not there but only in Singapore. Mr Speaker, it is in Singapore because they have their code of conduct for public officers and it does not exist in the others. So, I would plead with him, that we do not go on that path at all.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker, this is a matter which I would want to hear from you. When one proposes an amendment to something agreed by the group, it must be very simple and straightforward. But this, appears to be rather controversial. Hon Second Deputy Speaker, what do you think about “extraordinary impropriety”?
Hon Minority Leader, if you are not withdrawing it, then I may be forced to put the Question on the proposed amendment.
Mr Speaker, so, can we not find space for “impropriety” as basis, not “extraordinary” now. Should the Special Prosecutor misconduct himself, would that be basis for removal or not? So, we should find a way to add “impropriety” somewhere into the Hon Chairman's long list. This is because with investigators, there is evidence of concealment by them. Even the recent case which is being investigated elsewhere in the West -- so, the Special Prosecutor can engage in impropriety.
Mr Speaker, I believe that the word “impropriety” has well been taken care of under clause 14 subclause (1) (a) which says that: “(1) The Special Prosecutor shall not be removed from office except (a) for stated misbehaviour or incompetence;” Mr Speaker, so, “stated misbehaviour” could also connote impropriety.
Mr Speaker, you could put the Question on the amendment proposed by the Hon Chairman.
Very well. What this means is that, the Hon Minority Leader has withdrawn his proposed amendment, so, I would put the Question --
Mr Speaker, I am in support of the proposed amendment by the Hon Chairman in respect of clause 14 (c). Mr Speaker, but I beg to propose a further amendment to the ingredient of “disrepute”. I would want to add “gross” to “disrepute”. Mr Speaker, in all the other laws where this sister sections have been used, it has been “gross disrepute” and it is my humble view that, we should add “gross” to “disrepute.”
Hon Member, I would put the Question on your further amendment and if it is carried then it would be added. Question put and amendment negatived.
Hon Members, I would put the Question on the proposed amendment by the Hon Chairman. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, we would return to the original Order Paper. Item numbered (vii) on the original Order Paper?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 14, subclause (3), line 2, after “shall”, insert “within seven (7) days” and in line 3, after “shall”, insert “within thirty days”.
“Where the President receives a petition for the removal of the Special Prosecutor, the President shall within seven (7) days refer the petition to the Chief Justice who shall within thirty days determine whether there is a prima facie case.”
Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, I need to arrest this amendment because the Hon Chairman has jumped the proposed amendment to clause 16 and he has moved to clause 17. This is because clause 16 -- [Interruptions.] We have gone back to the original Order Paper. Alright?
Very well. Hon Members, I would put the Question on clause 14 (vii). Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, item numbered viii. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 14, subclause (4), opening phrase, line 2, delete “inform the President who shall” and insert “within fourteen days”.
“Where the Chief Justice determines that there is a prima facie case, the Chief Justice shall within fourteen days set up a committee consisting of …” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, item numbered ix. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 14, subclause (4), paragraph (a), before “Justice” insert “sitting or retired”.
“A chairperson, who is a sitting or a retired Justice of the Supreme Court,”
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, why does the Hon Chairman want to qualify it with “retired” or “sitting”? There is a judicial organ and there are Justices at all times and I am sure that we are looking at even the removal of other independent persons like the Chief Justice or even the President. It goes through the same process. Mr Speaker, but if he qualifies it with to ‘sitting' or ‘retired'; it must be a sitting person and we do not need to add the words “or retired”. I have a problem with it unless he wants to further convince me. There is guarantee while the person is exercising his judicial powers as part of this mandate. So, to add “or retired” -- I am comfortable with “sitting” and that is even not necessary. What is in the Bill is alright and it satisfies what we would need as a referral to the judicial organ. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Mr Speaker, thank you. Mr Speaker, just to support what the Hon Minority Leader is saying, a Justice of the Supreme Court is a Justice of the Supreme Court, whether he has retired or not, he is still addressed as a Justice of the Supreme Court. Therefore I believe we should just leave it as it is -- a Justice of the Supreme Court. A sitting or a serving Justice of the Supreme Court.
Mr Speaker, while agreeing with the Hon Minority Leader that the rendition should be left as it is, I disagree with the Hon Member for Yilo Krobo that a retired Supreme Court judge is still a Supreme Court judge. It is not. Once a person is retired, all his or her judicial functions are taken away. To that extent, he is not. So, if we would let it stay as it is, we should, but I do not agree with him on that point.
What he said was a person's judicial functions. The salary is not a judicial function. [Laughter.] Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, to support the Hon Chairman's amendment, it is important for us to understand that we were looking at a situation where retired justices of the Supreme Court would still be relevant in discharging duties under this law. But from the way it is couched, it appears to exclude retired justices of the Supreme Court. So, we were looking for an opportunity to bring them in so that the Chief Justice now has a large gamut of justices of the Supreme Court to choose from; those who are working and those who have retired. In view of the scarcity of the justices of the Supreme Court, I urge Hon Members to support this amendment so that, the Chief Justice would have the laxity and the authority to charge.
Yes, Hon Member for Wa Central?
Mr Speaker, I would want to support the fact that, it should just be a sitting Supreme Court judge as it is and not a retired judge. The reason is that, the sitting Supreme Court judge is very active in service, has a responsibility, follows trends and it is very likely to understand issues as they are brought forward. So, he is much more up to date and could be trusted to pass judgements that could be very objective than the retired one who might be looking for favours here and there. But, Mr Speaker, I think that, essentially, it is important just to have a Sitting judge and not a retired judge. I support the fact that we should abandon the amendment.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, I am aware of the concern being raised about retired Supreme Court and Appeal Court judges for the fact that, they are not being utilised yet they retire on their conditions of service. Mr Speaker, retirement is retirement. A person needs to rest. He reaches a stage, that maybe, the body itself is weary and he might not be put into the active service again. Mr Speaker, we have decided even to give timelines within which some things should be done because of the seriousness of the subject matter. So, to compel people who have retired , weary and have other challenges, particularly health, as we all know, to be compelled to act within the timelines that we have given would be to ask for too much. So, Mr Speaker, I would love that we restrict it to the sitting judges and not retired judges. That could create some problems.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, as has been articulated by the Hon Inusah Fuseini, the sitting Supreme Court judges first of all, are not too many, and they are themselves inundated seriously with cases. Thirdly, there are retired justices of the Supreme Court who are very sharp upstairs. Mr Speaker, some are also physically very strong. Mr Speaker, we are not compelling them to sit, except that, we are opening up the space that they could also be fallen upon to discharge these functions for the State. So, there is no compulsion at all. Mr Speaker, I believe it is important to leave the door opened for the utilisation of their services which might be necessary. If physically and mentally they are incapacitated, nobody would fall on them. But those of them who stand out as physically strong and mentally alert could be fallen on to discharge this responsibility for the country.
Yes, Hon Second Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader has grossly misunder- stood me. When I used the term “strength”, I was talking about physical strength and not talking about mental alertness or mental strength. But it is also wrong for him to think that an over ninety year old man could be stronger than a sixty year old boy. [Laughter.] I do not think he could say that our illustrious senior judge is stronger than even him. He knows that I am stronger than him, and so I do not know why that comparison. Nevertheless, I used the word “compel” because of the timelines. This is because, we would want the reports to be done quickly. Therefore, we would be pushing people who are otherwise called upon to rest for serving the nation for a long period. We know we are utilising them. Even now, we are aware of Justice Brobbey who is very alert and strong and is still chairing committees. However, Mr Speaker, the work of the Supreme Court judges is not so colossal that they cannot be called upon to chair such committees. In any case, there is a good reason they have not given us a limit as to how many Supreme Court judges we could appoint. There is good reason for that because in the future, because of specialisation, we would need more judges, we would
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the Office of the Special Prosecutor, as we have heard, is one for which we would want to guarantee independence of tenure. Therefore, we do not want the removal to be easy. Mr Speaker, if we refer to page 104 of the Constitution on “Removal and Retirement of Justices of the Supreme Court” -- Mr Speaker, if we look at article 146, whether we are coming to article 146 (6) or (7), all of it or (4), it says that “Justice of the Supreme Court”. That is enough as in the Bill. Mr Speaker, the President can at any time find work for retired superior court justices. I recall that when I was the Hon Minister for Communications and Justice Date-Bah retired, we brought him to the Data Commission because of his background at the Supreme Court on privacy of data, its protection and other things. Mr Speaker, we are not by this, questioning that retired judges cannot be helpful to the State -- not at all, but we are saying that the office of a judge, who
Hon Members, I believe this is a matter of policy, and we would have to make up our minds in one way or the other, whether as a policy, we would want to allow retired Supreme Court judges to be part of this, but if we decide that, then I would propose that rather than amending this clause, we should just put a definition at the end, which may go like this: “Justice of Supreme Court includes retired Supreme Court judge.” Hon Members, I believe that would have solved the problem rather than the writing here, but we would still have to make up our minds whether as a policy, we would want to include retired Supreme Court judges or not. Hon Chairman, should I put the Question now?
Rightly so, Mr Speaker, you should put the Question. Mr Speaker, upon further consultation, I would drop the proposed amendment.
Hon Chairman, you should guide me. Where is the amendment? All right, it is the amendment contained in item numbered (ix). Hon Members, item numbered (x), by Hon Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.
Mr Speaker, I would have to withdraw this amendment because the amendment (vii) has naturally rendered this one redundant, so, I withdraw.
Hon Chairman, item numbered (xi).
Mr Speaker, with respect to the amendment listed under item numbered (xi) clause 14, we would drop the second leg of the proposed amendment and only deal with the first part of it. Mr Speaker, therefore, I beg to move, clause 14, subclause (5), line 1, after “shall” insert “within ninety (90) days”.
“The Committee shall within 90 days investigate the matter and make its recommendations to the President through the Chief Justice.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Member, if you would want to catch my eye, you should do so early. You should not allow me to put the Question before you -- Yes, Hon Member, let me hear you.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity. Mr Speaker, I recall that we are trying to equate the position of the Special Prosecutor to that of a Justice of the Court of Appeal. Mr Speaker, the qualification of the Justices of the Court of Appeal is the same as that of the Special Prosecutor and we are talking about the conditions of service. Mr Speaker, looking at article 146 of the 1992 Constitution, the procedure for removal from office of a Court of Appeal judge or the justices of a superior court is clearly spelt out, and once we are equating the Office of the Special Prosecutor to that of the Court of Appeal judge, can we then say that article 146 should apply, just like what we did in clause 6 of this Bill, stating clause 6 (3) as follows:
Yes, Hon Chairman, but I believe this is too late in the day. We have provided all the specific provisions, so to refer it back to article 248 would make the thing repetitive.
Mr Speaker, though the Office of the Special Prosecutor is analogous to that of the Office of the Appeal Court judge, the two personalities are not the same. The Special Prosecutor performs investigative and prosecutorial functions. The Appeal Court judge administers justice. The two are not the same. This one is a judge, and the other one is a Special Prosecutor, therefore their offices are completely different.
Thank you, Hon Member. The question has been put and granted already, so we would proceed to put the Question on the entire clause 14. Clause 14 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 15 -- Nomination and appointment of Deputy Special Prosecutor
Hon Members, item numbered (xii), by the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I was drawing the Hon Majority Leader's attention to whether we could not have a break on the Consideration Stage of this Bill, but since you have recognised me, I would move. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (1), paragraph (a), after “corruption” insert “and corruption related” Mr Speaker, throughout this Bill, that has been the reference. Normally the wholesale work is white collar crime - a person with that background -- but since we have adopted corruption and corruption -- related offences, I thought we should strengthen it by that, because the person is only going to deputise to the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, accordingly submitted.
Mr Speaker, no objection. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, item number (xiii) -- Hon Haruna Iddrisu.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15 subclause (3), delete. We have already considered other clauses which support -- Mr Speaker, it would defeat the whole purpose of this Bill. Then, the Hon Attorney-General could as well have appointed the Special Prosecutor yesterday under her powers. So, if we say “The President may delegate the power of appointment”, it would defeat the whole purpose of the Bill as I understood it in the Memorandum. So, let us delete subclause (3).
Hon Chairman, I think yesterday, we debated this clause extensively in clause 12 and we took a decision on that. Hon Chairman of the Committee, the Hon Minority Leader has proposed that, we should delete clause 15 (3).
Mr Speaker, I believe that yesterday, we had an extensive debate on this, but with respect to that of the Special Prosecutor I believe we came to the consensus that, that provision ought to be maintained and the same argument applies to this one.
But we made an amendment that “Minister for Justice” should be removed.
Yes, that one follows under item (xiv).
Hon Minority Leader, yesterday, while you were away, we debated this matter extensively and concluded that it should remain there minus “Minister for Justice”. So, it is the same clause that is repeated here. Clause 12 (3) and clause 15 (3) are the same.
Mr Speaker, I feel very strongly about this amendment. I would be dignified in defeat by voting process. I do not want to personalise it because we have an Attorney-General here. Why are we appointing a Special Prosecutor when we have an Attorney- General? It is because with practice, we have seen that she has not -- I am not referring to Ms Gloria Akuffo -- We have resolved, by this Bill, that the Attorney- General's Office has not been potent enough. Mr Speaker, my proverb is vulgar. I could have used one for you but not under these circumstances. A Special Prosecutor must be able to urinate in the Dagomba parlance. So, if we say the “Attorney-General” -- Mr Speaker, you are familiar with the law. Do we not have Director of Public Prosecutions under the Attorney- General? We do. This law is not going to operate on its own in a vacuum; it would reference the Criminal Offences Act and its amendment. So, now, we say the President should delegate. We are the same Parliament which said “the Attorney-General shall nominate”. So now she nominates and concludes. Why are we going beyond the Attorney-General to appoint a Special Prosecutor? The reference document I have read is the Constitutional Review Commission Report on the Office of the Attorney- General. Therefore, we cannot say that, “The President may delegate the power of appointment.” Then, in fact, we do not need this Bill because the Attorney- General has every power. That is why she has the Director of Public Prosecution leading and supporting her in her work. As I said earlier, not to her person. I have always maintained that, let us not personalise legislation. We cannot say that the President should delegate the power of appointment of the Deputy Special Prosecutor to the Attorney- General. Like I said, I would like to be defeated so that the record will show that I made effort to win but I was defeated by a mobocracy kind of position.
Mr Speaker, I wholeheartedly support the position of the Hon Minority Leader.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker and Hon Minority Leader, I would want to draw the attention of the House to article 58 (3) of the Constitution. It reads: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the functions conferred on the President by clause (1) of this article may be exercised by him directly or through officers subordinate to him.” So, if we add that the President has the power to appoint, it is just a confirmation of this constitutional provision.
Mr Speaker, we are minded but your reference to the Constitution, but this is a Special Prosecutor who is likely to deal with issues affecting members in Government that you have referred to, therefore, guaranteeing him a certain independence of the Attorney- General -- As the Hon Second Deputy Speaker earlier said, we are conceptualising. Mr Speaker, I did not want to go that lane. If you read the NPP Manifesto on Special Prosecutor, the emphasis is on “independent” but the difficulty has been independent within the framework of the 1992 Constitution. So, the same Attorney-General to which we have said we need to strengthen with a Special Prosecutor, we are giving the same powers of appointing to the Attorney-General. Mr Speaker, you should put the Question. I would like to be defeated for the record that we want the Attorney- General to appoint a Deputy Special Prosecutor and that, in my view, would render the whole Bill watered down. We do not need it.
Hon Chairman, if you would want to respond.
Mr Speaker, this power to delegate is not alien to our Constitution; it finds expression under article 195 of the Constitution.
The Hon Second Deputy Speaker would take over at the close of this clause.
Respectfully, article 195 (2) reads: “The President may, subject to such conditions as he may think fit, delegate some of his functions under this article by directions in writing to the governing council concerned or to a committee of the council or to any member of that governing council or to any public officer.” Mr Speaker, the provision in question does not compel the President to at all cost delegate the function to the Chief Justice. We are saying ‘the President may…' So, if the President so wishes, may delegate the power of the appointment in writing to the Attorney-General. Mr Speaker, whether we delete this provision or drop the proposed amendment, the fact still remains that the President has the power to delegate this function to whoever he thinks fit to perform this function on his behalf. So—
Hon Member, hold on. Pursuant to Standing Order 40 (3), I direct that we Sit outside the normal Sitting hours. You may continue.
Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that whether this provision remains or is withdrawn, the fact still remains that the President has power to delegate his functions under article 195 (3) to whoever he deems fit or thinks fit. So, I would suggest that just as we did it yesterday, we should leave this provision as it is. This is because, whether or not it is dropped, the President still has power to delegate. Thank you.
I thought you said you wanted the votes.
Mr Speaker, it is not every matter that you would legislate. We have in this Bill a proposal which said that, the Attorney-General shall nominate a person to the President. Do we think the President would not consult the Attorney-General on any matter concerning the Special Prosecutor? Where systems work, we do not need to put this in law. Mr Speaker, let me use this example; it may not be good enough. It is like the Hon Minister for Transport and then the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) Chief Executive, that the President cannot confer with the Hon Minister to determine this? No, I do not think that we need to expressly provide this in the Bill that the President shall delegate the power of appointment to the Attorney-General. I have a profound difficulty with it. Once we have already said, the Attorney- General shall nominate, we are even assuming that she would have done due diligence in determining the person and when the person goes, the President only responds to her nomination. So, it is not a matter for which we should expressly put it in a law —
Hon Members, I would put the Question now. Question put and amendment nega- tived.
Hon Chairman, item numbered xiv on clause 15.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (3), line 2, delete “and Minister for Justice”. So, the new rendition reads; “The President may delegate the power of appointment in writing to the Attorney-General”. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman can explain his effort to separate the Attorney-General from the Minister for Justice as his justification for this amendment. He should provide clarity; he should read article 88 well and lead us with an explanation on why he thinks that the offices are distinct.
Mr Speaker, we all know that the position of the Attorney-General is not the same as the position of the Minister for Justice. Article 88 (1) says; “There shall be an Attorney-General of Ghana who shall be a Minister of State and the principal legal adviser to the Government”. So, we can have an Attorney-General who may not necessarily be the Minister for Justice. Mr Speaker, when you read article 88 (3), it says and with your permission, I quote: “The Attorney-General shall be responsible for the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of criminal offences”. And article 88 (4) says: “All offences prosecuted in the name of the Republic of Ghana shall be at the suit of the Attorney- General or any other person authorised by him in accordance with any law”. It is on the basis of this that we propose the amendment by the deletion of the phrase “a Minister for Justice” to maintain “the Attorney-General.” Thank you.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
I thought I would allow Hon Ayariga first before I come to you. Hon Mahama Ayariga?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I believe the explanations make perfect legal sense. If we read the Constitution as the Hon Chairman of the Committee has indeed read it, it is perfectly possible to have an Attorney-General who is not the Minister for Justice, and who does not institute prosecutions on behalf of the State and in the name of the State. The Constitution itself, several times makes reference only to the Attorney- General in matters regarding prosecutorial powers. So, I think that it makes perfect sense to have this rendition and I would support the rendition.
Mr Speaker, the amendment can stand, but in practice -- since the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution, we have often referred to the Minister for Justice and Attorney- General. By the constitutional position, the Hon Chairman is right, so you can put the Question. Thank you. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (4), line 3, delete “non-renewable tenure of seven years” and insert “a term of five years and may be appointed for another term only”. The new rendition would read: “The Deputy Special Prosecutor shall hold office on the same terms and conditions of service as a Justice of the High Court, except that the tenure of office shall be for a term of five years and may be appointed for another term only.”
Mr Speaker, may, I with your indulgence, seek your leave, and if the Hon Chairman has no objection, since we have given the Deputy Special Prosecutor another opportunity for reappointment, say, “a term of four years and may be appointed for another term.” So cumulatively, we have eight years instead of five years. The tenure should be for four years but renewable for another four years. If the Hon Chairman has no objection, I am further improving his amendment.
Hon Minority Leader, I thought that the reference to the words “another term” meant five years. So, the Deputy would enjoy a cumulative term of 10 years as against the Special Prosecutor who would only have seven years. This is for purposes of continuity. The store of institutional knowledge of the Deputy Special Prosecutor could help a new Special Prosecutor. That is what they are trying to do. Is it agreed? Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (5), delete
I think you have to give an explanation as to why we should delete it.
Mr Speaker, clause 15 (5) would be sent to the miscellaneous provisions. That is the reason it has to be deleted here. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (8), line 2, after “Oath” insert “of Office”.
Hon Members, the proposed amendment is clear. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 15 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, sorry I missed the opportunity. I was just discussing with the Hon Chairman and I believe that at the appropriate time, he would bring it back. In view of what we did for the eligibility criterion for the Special Prosecutor, we may only have to allow what we have set out there to apply to the Deputy Special Prosecutor, except that the additional 15 years we added, this one would read 10 years. I do not know whether we would take it through a Second Consideration Stage.
Hon Majority Leader, are you talking about clause 15?
Yes, Mr Speaker, clause 15 (1). It would be done at the Second Consideration Stage.
Let me get the sense of your proposal.
Mr Speaker, just as was contained in the original in respect of the nomination and appointment of the Special Prosecutor, you would see that is for the original clauses 12 (1) (a), 12 (1) (b) and 12 (1) (c). The same thing is repeated in clause 15 (1) (a), (b) and (c). Now that we have re-couched clause 12 (1) (a), 12 (1) paragraph (b) and (c), we should replicate same for clause 16. Except that for what we added at the end, that is, the additional qualifications of 15 years, this one should be 10 years. It would be captured rightly at the Second Consideration Stage and taken on that path. Mr Speaker, having said so, I do not know if you are minded to take a break. Other than that, I would plead with the House and the Hon Attorney-General that we suspend the Consideration Stage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill and have the Zongo Development Fund Bill taken through a Second Reading.
Hon Members, I am guided by your interest. I was told that at 2.15 p.m. we were to suspend Sitting to allow the Committee to look at the Report and then come back for us to take that item. I would prefer we take a short break of about an hour.
Mr Speaker, the Report has been circulated and I am not too sure that we would spend more than 30 minutes on it.
Hon Majority Leader, I thought that Hon Members would want to go through the Report. I have just been given a copy of it which I have not read. It is true that it is not lengthy, but I would want to take the sense of the House. Alright, Hon Members, we would proceed and take it now. Hon Members, in the meantime, we have come to the end of the Consideration Stage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017. We would proceed to item numbered 1 on the Order Paper Addendum which is the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Fourteenth Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's Nomination of Hon Kennedy Nyarko Osei for Appointment as a Deputy Minister for Agriculture may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Hon Members, item numbered 2 on the Order Paper Addendum.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017, be now read the Second time. Question proposed.
Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion and in doing so, present your Committee's Report. Introduction The Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017, was laid in Parliament on Thursday, 26th October, 2017 by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon Isaac Asiamah, on behalf of the Minister for Zongo and Inner-City Development. Pursuant to article 106(4) of the 1992 Constitution and Orders 170 and 181 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Rt Hon Speaker referred the Bill to a Joint Committee of Local Government and Rural Development, and Finance for consideration and report. The Joint Committee met and examined the Bill. Present at the meeting were the Hon Minister for Zongo and Inner-City Development, Alhaji Abu-bakar Saddique Boniface, officials from the Ministry of Zongo and Inner-City and Attorney- General's Department. The Committee is grateful for the invaluable contributions from the Minister and the Officials at the meeting.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion moved by the Hon Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development. Mr Speaker, I must say that the importance of paying attention to our Zongo communities cannot be over- emphasised. And the indication that this Government pays attention to the peculiar economic, social and infrastructure needs of the Zongo communities is one that should be supported. A Bill that seeks to establish the Zongo Development Fund, which is the main vehicle by which we hope to realise this aspiration, is definitely one that should commend itself to a bipartisan support of this House. Mr speaker, it is also important to pay attention to the Memorandum that accompanied the Bill, which gives us the policy thrust informing the establishment of this Bill.
“Consequently, Zongo Commu- nities have peculiar infrastructure deficits, social services deficits, economic deficits and poor sanitation management, which plays them in a situation that merits special attention. It is for this reason that the establishment of a Zongo Development Fund has been made one of the seven components of Government's new major economic initiatives designed to take giant leaps in a holistic transformation of Ghana.” Mr Speaker, I started my career as a lawyer working in a Zongo community here in Accra at Nima and Mamobi, where I provided free legal services and came very close to the infrastructure challenges of Zongo communities. Given how houses are constructed, it would usually cost several times more than how it would cost in other neighbourhoods to extend infrastructure for delivery of water. Given how houses are developed in the Zongo communities, there is no space to even site community schools. I have seen situations where community leaders would have to come together and put their money together, buy somebody's house, pull it down and be able to construct facilities that are reasonably suited to keep children to provide them with even basic education. And these schools would not even have play grounds for the children. Mr Speaker, I would not even talk about sanitation. I recall how sometimes, major social unrest erupted around issues of the management of toilet facilities —issues that plagued such communities. For hospitals and others, because of the housing arrangement, it is sometimes very difficult for government to even site hospitals and other health facilities within those communities. Mr Speaker, so, in the end, these communities are deprived of even the most basic and essential social amenities to make life worth living in those communities. So there is definitely a need, pursuant to our Constitution, to positively discriminate in favour of these communities and to provide resources so that the State could provide these basic infrastructure for them. Mr Speaker, I know that there are many parts of the country that are not Zongos but confronted with similar situations. But the situation in the Zongo communities are peculiar in the sense that they have all the problems, in relation to housing, healthcare infrastructure, education, et cetera affecting them. So there is the need for a concerted, conscious government effort to address the peculiar circumstances of the Zongo communities. The issue has always been how to raise and mobilise funds to deal with these problems. And so, this Bill establishes a Fund in which government is putting some seed money, which then becomes a vehicle for both local and international mobilisation of resources to address these peculiar circumstances that we must deal with. Mr Speaker, I support this Bill and urge Hon Members to do same. We will see how we can contribute to improve on the Bill. We know it was brought to the House but it was withdrawn once or twice. All that, I believe, was in the spirit of improving upon the nature of the Bill. Of course, we should have thought through it properly before giving an indication on what we wanted to do. But better late than never; it has come before us and we would all help in the thinking process to improve on the quality of the Bill. I believe that, this is an important beginning; setting up the Fund is one thing and being able to actually go on the ground and address the problems of the Zongo communities is another. I hope that we would be able to devise a Fund that makes the latter achievable. Mr Speaker, on that note, I thank you for the opportunity and urge Hon Colleagues to support this Bill.
Mr Speaker, I am very grateful to you for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, I am actually excited about the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017, and I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to H.E. the President for moving the Zongo advocacy to the level of institutionalising this Fund so that we can have a Ministry with some funds to address the peculiar problems that these communities face. Mr Speaker, I was privileged to be part of the discussions at the Committee level to consider the provisions and to look at possible amendments or suggestions. I was particularly excited when I realised from the provisions that the Fund would address the problem of education and disparities that we have in the Zongos to ensure that most residents of the Zongos have an improvement in their literacy and numeracy skills. Mr Speaker, I however expressed a particular concern. I still support the Bill but I expressed a concern and I would like to make it public on the Floor also. When we look at the clause 2(a), where it talks about investment into basic services and strategic infrastructure to create conditions for the transformation of the Zongo communities, we were made to understand that this particular provision would take care of health. I expressed concerns about the health aspect.
Hon Member, I can only encourage you to go on with that pressure because it is important that we itemised the issue of health. I recognise the Hon Member for Asokwa.
I thank you very much, Mr Speaker. [Interruption.]
I am aware of the numbers.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion ably moved by the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development. Mr Speaker, I would like to mention that the passing of this Bill into an Act is timely in the sense that, at this particular point in our lifetime, we are all aware of what the world seeks to achieve: a sustainable development for countries. It is not surprising that we have a President H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the ambassador for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mr Speaker, if we look at the goals, it would interest us to note that he has taken the right path to ensure that we would address the issues that affect our development. One of the objects to achieve is to transform our country. If we want transform our country, I believe the best thing is to identify the areas that need to be sought after and ensure that development is achieved in those areas. If we look at the Bill, it would interest us to note that we have building structures that need some kind of development. We believe that, these structures should be taken seriously because, if we are looking at the health aspect of our lives, it is important that we use a regenerative approach to ensure that people live well and also live heartily. This is part of the development goals to be achieved. Mr Speaker, let us look at the aspect of the funding for this particular Bill. We would realise that, already, the Government has promised us an endowment Fund of about $50 million. Even though it is inadequate, I believe it is a very good start for us to know that, we are committed to pursue this particular agenda. We are also looking at the aspect of education. It is important that we all receive equal education across the country. So, Mr Speaker, I would like to call on both divides of our Parliament to ensure that we all support the passing of this Bill into an Act. With these few words, Mr Speaker, I contribute to this Motion and urge all Hon Members to support it.
Let me listen to the Hon Member for Banda.
I thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution on the Motion of the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017. Mr Speaker, I would be very specific and so, I would just go straight to the point.
Sources of money for the Fund, with your permission, I quote: “The Committee observed that sources of monies into the Fund as contained in clause 5 of the Bill are inadequate and unreliable.” Mr Speaker, this is very true. I believe the Motion is about the explanatory memorandum.
“There is no dispute about the fact that from time immemorial the need of the Zongo communities were not adequately captured in national development planning. Conse- quently Zongo Communities have peculiar infrastructure deficits, social services deficit, economic deficits and poor sanitation management . . .” Mr Speaker, clearly, if we are to go by this, looking at how expectant the Zongo communities in this country are, after passing this Motion, going through the Consideration Stage and passing this Bill, they are aware that they would be given US$50 million every year. Mr Speaker, if we read the Budget and the Bill very well, on page 148 -- Zongo Development Fund.
Hon Member, we are at the Second Reading. The Second Reading --
Mr Speaker, I see him every day as he brings the vehicle here.
Hon Member, please, we are at the Second Reading of the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017. So, restrict yourself to the policy and principles underlying the Bill.
Mr Speaker, back to the principles, once again, my stand is that just as it was in the Bill that was laid before this House and referred to the Committee for consideration -- It was in the Bill that 2 per cent of Earmarked Funds -- That is what was approved at Cabinet. All the Hon Ministers were there when the Bill that was brought to this House was approved by Cabinet. It is in the Bill that two (2) per cent of Earmarked Funds -- That is what is in the Bill. Mr Speaker, it should not be said anywhere that, it was Parliament -- the President brought a Bill to this House and said that he was designating two per cent of Earmarked Funds for Zongos and this House deducted it and dedicated it to budgetary allocation.
Hon Member, I see your Hon Colleague. You were on your feet, Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity. The Hon Colleague is talking about Cabinet approving a Bill with 2 per cent -- Mr Speaker, this House deals with evidence. He is not a member of Cabinet and not in the position to know of Cabinet decisions. Nothing in here says that Cabinet approved it. If he has evidence -- Otherwise, he should table it and stick to the principles as he has been told.
Hon Minister, is it your case that Cabinet never approved such provision?
Mr Speaker, I never made that statement. He is making that claim and in any case, as you know, it does not have to be Cabinet approval. Parliamentary approval is more important than the Cabinet approval but he is making a specific claim and I would want him to provide the evidence.
He said that it was brought to the Committee meeting and so I expected that since the Hon Minister for the Ministry of Inner- City and Zongo Development is available, he would respond to that. So, we would note it for his winding up statement. Yes, Hon Member, you may wind up.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity. As an Hon Member of the Leadership of the House and being somebody who is always on the ground -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I think that the official document before us, based on which the Committee did its consideration and the Report has been written is this Bill. In the Bill, it is copiously written on page 5 -- Sources of money for the Fund, clause 6: “The sources of money for the Fund”: a) ‘moneys approved by Parliament'; b) grants, loans and other voluntary contributions; c) a minimum of 2 per cent of the total amount of Earmarked Funds'. Mr Speaker, this is what is before this House and when we convert this 2 per cent into dollars, it is “Fifty million United Stated Dollars”. This is what the zongos outside there have been made to be aware of. The President is fulfilling his campaign promise and this House must assist him to deliver. He says that 2 per cent of Earmarked Funds -- let us approve it. If we predicate it on yearly budgetary allocations by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Speaker, we know what can happen. Therefore, if the President wants to do more than what others have done, let us not forget that I have given an instance
Hon Members, please pay attention to what is happening in the House. Before I recognised the Hon Members on this side of the Houyse, I gave two opportunities to your Side.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute towards the Motion on the floor. In doing so, I want to say that as part of the uses that this Fund would be put to, there would be the renewal of the urban sprawl which is normally called the zongo. Mr Speaker, as someone who grew up in Nima-Maamobi, even THE lay out in these communities was a problem; how to get to one's house from the roadside was difficult sometimes. So, I expect that the Fund would be put to good use and can contribute to renewing the lay-outs in the communities in particular, because we do not want development to be completed and the original occupants are deprived of possession. I have read that where Kanda Estates is situated now as a suburb, used to be called “Kanda 441”. The Government at the time, undertook urban renewal and relocated the people. Now, upon the completion of the Estates, the original settlers were not brought back and the facilities were given to other people. Mr Speaker, so I expect that the Ministry would be conscious of this fact that the original people would not be displaced that after the renewal is done, others are brought to occupy it. If we look at certain communities like Nima-Maamobi, Alajo, Sukura, Old Fadama, parts of Ashaiman and parts of Madina where we call Old Road -- Old Road Zongo Junction has now been overtaken by urban renewal. Mr Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the Ministry to the fact that our people are expectant of the purposes to which this Fund would be applied. Indeed, and until a very long time, I was considered as a person of northern extraction until people got to know that I am an Anlo - Ewe. So, the Zongos are a melting point for a lot of the people in this country. I support the Motion on the floor, except to say that, as Hon Member who spoke immediately ahead of me said, the Fund would not be sufficient for the kind of projects that we anticipate to undertake. Therefore, we would urge the Government that the proper thing should be done, and it has to be yearly instead of a one-time allocation. Mr Speaker, I rest my case here. Thank you very much.
Hon Minister, let me allow your Hon Colleagues behind you to contribute. Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to the Report of the Committee. Mr Speaker, I remember that, in those days when His Excellency, former President Rawlings visited Brunei, we were shown an area that was supposed to be low-cost housing for the poor. So, immediately, Zongo development came up, I have been looking at some beautiful communities being re-built and re-generated in a lot of these deprived communities. Mr Speaker, I am very happy that Government has been able to present this Bill to the House. I am particularly interested in paragraph 6.3, which says that a seed capital of US$50 million is to be used to set up the Fund. The reason I am so happy is that, I am aware that our current free senior high education costs this country US$100 million. Therefore, if we are getting US$50 million dollars to develop our Zongo communities, then I believe that the Government has really put in a lot. I am talking about what we are starting with. Even though some complain that this money might not be enough, I believe that it is a starting point. I believe that the development of Zongos in itself need to be checked. Would we fix this problem and allow new Zongos and new deprived communities to spring up after we have invested? Mr Speaker, no. That is why I believe that we need to find new creative ways to make sure that the little that we get now, we would use that to complement other resources to make sure that the Zongos do not come up again, or the little we get from other sources could be added to what we have.
Hon Member, what is the meaning of the “Zongo”?
Mr Speaker, it has been defined; the predominant religion is Islam, the predominant language is Hausa and the community is characterised by poor living conditions --
Hon Member, you are talking about Zongo communities, but my question was with regard to the meaning of “Zongo”. What does “Zongo” mean?
Mr Speaker, is it part of the debate? I would want to know -- It is basically a place for settlers.
Hon Member, I am guiding you so that --
Mr Speaker, I know where I am going. In fact, I was born and grew up opposite a Zongo community, and my father's house in our village is also in the Zongo. So, I know the characteristics of a Zongo community.
Hon Member, you do not understand the meaning of the “Zongo”.
Mr Speaker, “Zongo” has been defined, so, we understand it. [Interruption.]
I asked the question because of the tangent you took your debate on. You may proceed.
Mr Speaker, going forward, I believe that we need to look at ways to make sure that they do not re- occur. If we look at the definition that we have given to “Zongo communities”, as being predominant in terms of the Islamic Religion, we also have other deprived communities that are not Islamic in nature. I believe that we could use our religion as a catalyst to ensure that some of these characteristics that we have seen in these Zongo communities do not come up. For instance, I am looking at the possibility of doing One Mosque, One Factory. So, when anybody gives us the opportunity to build a mosque, we could then ask that person to also help us build a factory. We could also look at One Church, One Factory, so that people could get jobs to do in these communities.
Hon Member, please did you say One Mosque, One Factory and One Church, One Factory?
When a person builds one mosque in a Zongo community, then one factory should be built there. Also, when a person builds a church in a deprived community, then one factory should be built there. Mr Speaker, the idea is that we cannot continue to spend; we need to look for innovative ways to make sure that people come out of the Zongo communities not poor, but comfortable. If they get jobs to do, then the incidents of poverty, which have been used to describe these communities, would be no more. That is where I am coming from. Mr Speaker, I also believe that as a country, we should look at the Singapore model where, when they realised that certain foreigners or ethnic groups were coming together to perpetuate poverty, Lee Kuan Yew insisted to mix the races so that they could learn from one another and develop. That is why there are no slums, deprived communities and Zongos in Singapore. So, I believe that we have to look at a model beyond what we are just trying to invest in. We should look at a model that would make sure that in the next 20 or 30 years, we would never see the Zongos. We need to integrate. We would realise that in all the communities in this country, whenever there is a Zongo, it would be far away from the cities; but with time, people may build and reach the Zongos. Mr Speaker, if we insist that new settlements do not stay away from the original communities, then I believe that we would be in a better position to ensure that Zongos would not spring up. Mr Speaker, I am also aware that the biggest Zongo is in Kumasi. If it is so, then I wonder why the headquarters for the Fund should be in Accra. This country has developed like kwashiorkor; everything is in Accra. Maybe, we should send it to Asawase, and it would help us. Mr Speaker, we should never set up the Fund and put its headquarters in Accra because the problem is not here. The biggest Zongo is in Kumasi, so we should set up the Fund in Kumasi, and the Hon Minister could be in Accra. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would like to commend the Government for coming up with a Bill to protect the Fund and to also ensure that Zongos in Ghana could be improved for the better. Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to the debate.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Second Reading of the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017. Mr Speaker, as I listen to some of my Hon Colleagues -- Maybe, it could be lack of knowledge or information, but the impression that they have given this House is that, this Fund is the only instrument for developing the Zongo community. Mr Speaker, that is palpably false because this is in addition to the existing programmes. Mr Speaker, I come from Old Tafo, which has one of the largest Zongo communities in Ghana, and the Hon Minority Chief Whip could tell us that --
Is that the one that the Hon Member was referred to as the largest Zongo community in the country?
Mr Speaker, no; but one of the largest.
Now, there is a contest as to which is the largest.
Mr Speaker, we know that it is in Kumasi. Mr Speaker, he visits my constituency. He knows that the roads in the Zongos in Old Tafo are the best, which means that even without the Zongo Development Fund, Government is developing the Zongos. Mr Speaker, the truth about the situation in the whole nation is not the same. Therefore, Government says there is some kind of deficit, let us zone in, create a special Fund and, in addition to what we are doing, let us use that to begin to do some little things. Mr Speaker, clearly, we cannot presume that it is this Fund that would create a new Zongo. The Hon Minister would tell us -- people think all of Nima is poverty ridden. No, it is not true. There are some pockets of Nima that would satisfy the criteria, but there are some pockets that have affluent people living there . Those are not what we are targeting. We would target where we know there is poverty. Mr Speaker, the one million, one constituency project would affect the Zongo communities; the One District, One Dam project would affect the Zongo communities; and the One District, One Factory project would affect the Zongo communities. So, for anybody to give the impression that this is the only money that would help, is false. Mr Speaker, my Hon Friend, Hon Ahmed, himself does not believe what he says, that let us help our President to achieve his purpose by giving him what he wants. Would he tell us he knows what he wants? Does he know what the President wants?
Hon Member, your Hon Colleague is on his feet. Hon Member for Banda?
Mr Speaker, my senior Hon Colleague said I do not even believe in what I said, that we should support H. E. the President to achieve or redeem his campaign promise. Mr Speaker, it is in the Bill. The Bill has been brought to this House. It is now the property of this House. I said we should approve the Bill the way it has been brought because that is what the President would want to achieve.
Hon Member, I have not heard him say no; he does not support the Bill. He just tried to draw your attention to the fact that you should not weep more than the bereaved.
Mr Speaker, I challenge him to make known to this House whether he is in support of the two per cent earmarked Fund that is in this Bill. He should make it as part of his contribution, if he really believes in it. I believe in it, and I support it. He should declare his stance.
Mr Speaker, as an Hon Minister, my stance is very clear. The Government is bringing the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017. The Government promised seed money of US$50 million. This same Government is against earmarking as a policy. I would want to repeat that. This same Government is against earmarking. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Inner- City and Zongo Development has talked to the Hon Minister for Finance. When we get there, we would deal with it. The more important thing is the principle of why this instrument is established. When I went to the second meeting, the Committee told me that they did some calculation and looked at the earmarked Fund. It is a bogus calculation. Mr Speaker, I can prove to them that it is false, but that is the reason they figured two per cent of all earmarked funds would amount to US$50 million. It is totally false. It cannot be. If we list all the earmarked funds, it would not be there. Anyway, when we get there, we would talk about it. Mr Speaker, I brought it to the attention of the Hon Chairman that a section in the Committee's Report on the issue of earmarking needs to be looked at carefully. The language there might not put forth what the Committee would want to say, but it is here. So, we would look at it. Mr Speaker, the importance of this Fund is made clear. All of us agreed that the principle of bringing attention to the poor Zongo communities is crucial. That is really what is behind this. More importantly, we need to understand that it is not the Zongo Development Fund alone that would develop the Zongo communities. It is in addition to what is being done earlier. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I urge all Hon Members to support the Motion on the floor.
Hon Member, your contribution seems to be approbating and reprobating. The whole Fund and the Bill before us is earmarking. The Zongo Development Fund is earmarking, but you said that, as a policy, the Government is against earmarking. Is that what you said?
Mr Speaker, the context of earmarking that we put is what is reflected in clause 5(c). That is the earmarking they are talking about; putting, say, a fixed amount on the earmarked funds. Having a fund does not mean that one has earmarked it. He would put money into it; but how much he would put, he does not know. We promised seed money. It does not mean that all the seed money would be given in one year. It is a special purpose vehicle for which we would want to bring attention to. That is what I meant to say.
Yes, Hon Chief Whip of the Minority?
Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to also speak to the Motion before us, and to say that I urge Hon Members to support it to quickly get this Fund running, so that the needs of the communities, where some of us were born and raised, that have some of the major challenges facing them would be dealt with. Mr Speaker, looking at the Committee's Report, I would want us to look at the definition of “Zongo”. In fact, the word is “Zango” and not “Zongo”. So, I hope when we get to the Consideration Stage, we would make that correction. Mr Speaker, if you look at the definition, it has --
Hon Member, what is the meaning?
“Zango” is not understood in Ghana. What is understood is “Zongo”, and that is why we have the “Zongo Development Fund.”
But the word “Zango” means “come and go”, which is a person settles for a short while and goes.
Hon Member, which war are you referring to?
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion for the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017 to be read a Second time, and to urge Hon Colleagues to support the Bill. Mr Speaker, it is consistent with Government's policy as was announced in the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Manifesto that a Zongo Development Fund would be created. Mr Speaker, I would like to refer to the fifth paragraph of the explanatory memorandum. I believe that, inhabitants of the Zongos would be expectant that their living standards would improve “ that there would be basic infrastructure such as schools, roads, electricity, water resources and good sanitation; job creation opportunities would all be enhanced; and poverty would be reduced. Mr Speaker, I have perused the Bill, and it is more diagnostic. It is loaded with the diagnosis of the problem, but very low on solutions to the problem. So, if we would want a Bill that diagnoses the anatomy of what the problems are in the Zongo, then it does very well; but it is very low on what to do in order to cure what has been diagnosed. Mr Speaker, if we read the first paragraph, it says that, there is no dispute about the fact that from time immemorial, the needs of Zongos were not adequately captured in national development planning. Rightly so, but conspicuously lost in this Bill is “inner city”. It is not for nothing that the Hon Minister who is sponsoring this Bill is referred to as “Hon Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development”. It is because of the deprivation and poverty that reflect in the inner cities like Krowor; it may not be a Zongo, but there is poverty. If we go to parts of Ledzokuku, they may not be a Zongo but there is poverty; if we go to Sekondi-Takoradi, there are inner cities there which are not Zongos but there is deprivation and poverty. So, first of all, where is the commitment of this Government? Their first commitment was to develop Zongos and inner cities. Are they abandoning the development of inner cities? I leave it as a multi-million question. This is because this Bill no longer focuses on inner cities; it is now Zongo. It is diagnostic. It should be ‘inner city' because statistical research of the Ghana Statistical Service is replete with research findings of the worrying levels of poverty in the Zongos and in the inner cities. So, my first disappointment, Mr Speaker, is that, I do not see in this Bill a commitment to the development of inner cities; it is only to Zongos. Mr Speaker, Zongos are like any other community in Ghana, even though, it may have deprivation in terms of improvement of social amenities. If we take, for instance, the development of the Nima gutter -- In fact, just last week, there was -- I hope I can give the credit -- either a Metro TV or TV3 documentary on the bad roads and bad drainage system behind the President's current home, which runs into Zongo. If we have US$50 million as seed money, we would need not less than US$50 million to do only that bad drainage behind the President's house. So, that supports the argument that, the resource allocation to this Fund is woefully inadequate. Therefore, Hon Colleagues justifying the increase of budgetary allocation cannot be overemphasised. We should not go far away -- the President's house, where he stays around the Nima Police Station -- If we walk behind it -- I use that road every day. It is a drainage system that would link up to Nima from Kokomlemle. We would need more than US$50 million to fix that. If we go to Kumasi, what the Agence Francaise is developing closer to the Hon Member's Constituency, the French Government has given some funding for the development. It is over Ł30 million just to do that. So, when they say seed money of US$50 million, it does not demonstrate the kind of commitment we expect from Government. So, those who have called additional resources and financing - Mr Speaker, job creation is a national problem; but in the Zongos, it is deprivation. Maybe, for their women, we should look at micro-credit in terms of special support, and I believe that if the Ministry is resourced, the Hon Minister may reach out to a number of women who are just looking for money for petty trading. If it is well done, maybe GH¢5,000 or sometimes GH¢2,000 -- Mr Speaker, I have always wondered, as I drive in the same Nima Zongo, that if one sees a banana or orange seller, one seldom asks one's self how much she would take home. The whole of that orange or banana tray is less than GH¢100. It explains our level of poverty, which we take for granted. A woman selling pawpaw or textiles -- We expect that when they say they would want to improve economic enterprise, they would deal, particularly with the women and youth in that particular area. Mr Speaker, as for unemployment, it is not a Zongo phenomenon; it is everywhere in the country; it is a national security crisis. We better get interventions that assure young people of jobs, whether it is One District, One Factory. Whatever intervention that creates jobs, has our wholehearted support, and we should support it. Mr Speaker, when we have this Bill “ I am sure when we come to deal with the Consideration Stage, we would be able to do it. So, the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Government and development partners on earmark -- We say that Government must demonstrate additional commitment beyond seed money, and not the usual budgetary allocation at the pleasure of the Hon Minister for Finance. When we have an Hon Minister for Finance whose cry is “I do not have the fiscal space”, where would it find the fiscal space. No Hon Minister for Finance ever finds it; but for the purpose of the commitment, they have made to the Zongos and inner cities, earmark -- we are not asking for too much or one per cent; we say maybe two per cent. It could be the Annual Budget Funding Amount or a portion dedicated from the District Assemblies Common Fund for that purpose. So, we say that seed money -- The Hon Minister for Finance has been at the Ministry of Finance himself. He knows
how much even Parliament owes. There are arrears. When we take a Ministry like the Ministry of Works and Housing, they would be germane to this Zongo Development Fund because with infrastructure, we would need them. Mr Speaker, the drains in almost all the Zongos are in a very poor and bad state. We expect that there would be interventions, and the Hon Minister would also identify many of these problems. I do not want to go into the debate; but in Tamale, we have Hausa Zongo and that is how we understand them to be. Mr Speaker, they are part of Ghana; their young people are enterprising; and many of them are doing very well; educationally and in football. What they need is support to develop their potentials. Mr Speaker, when we do not have the commitment, but we see on page 5 of the Bill, “Independence of the Fund”, who says that we want this Fund to be independent? Independent of who? They are creating a Fund, and they say “Independence of the Fund”. I am sure we should be able to deal with many of it. Mr Speaker, let me conclude with what the Hon Chief Whip suggested. One of the social but religious duties of Zongos is Hajj, which is one of the major pillars of Islam. We have made tremendous improvement over the years with the performance of Hajj in Mecca, including Medina and all the places that they go. Mr Speaker, probably, it is about time that the activities of the Hajj Board is regulated by the creation, maybe as part of this Bill. Mr Speaker, when you look at the “Board of Trustees”, we may decide to reduce the numbers. Maybe we can have the National Chief Imam, the Hon Minister, some representatives of the people in Parliament, Hajj agents and others to constitute the Hajj Board, which should have the Hon Minister's supervision, so that annually, he would report back to Parliament how many people embarked on the pilgrimage; how many died; how many were able to perform Hajj; how many had access to hotel accommodation or not; and what were the constraints. Every year, some of them get their visas locked up at the Saudi Embassy; but I am aware, Mr Speaker, that the Government of Saudi Arabia insists that they would want it to be a relationship at the bilateral level, between the Governments of the Republic of Ghana and Saudi Arabia. We should look at adding to the responsibilities of this Ministry. After all, in the Memorandum, it says “Zongo”. They are excited about it. Some of the women engage in economic activities with it; some of the youth also engage, but the primary essence is that it is religious. In fact, it should continue to be, but we would need to reach out to the Muslim community, particularly, if the Chief Imam and all his regional imams and others, so that we could fine-tune what could become a Hajj Board that regulates some of these. Mr Speaker, public private partnerships in the Zongos. I do not want to sound partisan, as I have indicated. The NPP, in 2000 when they campaigned, said they would transform the Zongos. If we look at their manifesto of 2000, it; had lots of mouth-watering promises in it, even kiosks and others. I hope that this is not another mouth-watering promise. If we go to the NPP Manifesto of 2000, which I am very familiar with, they know Mr Speaker, in principle, we support the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017 as I have indicated. It is consistent with Government policy pursuant to the manifesto pledge and promise. But it should not remain a rhetorical pledge as we witnessed in time past. It should be -- [Interruptions] -- It is not about creating bureaucracies. This one, we are just creating an additional bureaucracy. If you want to develop Zongos, you can develop them. Do they not have districts? They do. So, Mr Speaker, I wholeheartedly support this, but when we get on, we would be able to improve aspects of the legislation, particularly an improved and dedicated financing—
Yes, Hon Member, are you on a point of Order?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Please, switch on your microphone and draw my attention to the Standing Order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader is misleading the House. Mr Speaker, he said two things; he supports the Bill and at the same time says that this is another rhetoric. He said that. So, why is he saying two things at the same time? He should come clear, does he support it or he thinks that this is another rhetoric? He should clarify it.
Well, maybe you were not listening. His point is that, it should not be like the earlier promises. He referred to 2000 manifesto and you referred to Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
Mr Speaker, I would conclude but I want to thank you for the opportunity. But as I said earlier, when we come to the Long Title — Mr Speaker, all of us are in political life now, the major challenge of every political office holder in Ghana is the management of expectations. We are not managing the expectations well. And I just conclude with it. If you have a Long Title which reads and I quote; “AN ACT to establish a Fund to provide financial resources to develop and transform the social and economic conditions of Zongo Communities; and to provide for the management of the Fund and for related matters”. The young men and women in the Zongos would be expectant. We should endeavour to manage expectations and we should manage and manage it very well. The Nima drain alone is costing US$10million and like I have said, across the country there is Zongo in every region and probably, every part of the country whether in Bekwai, in Tafo or in Suame, Mr Speaker, you would soon visit those communities. I thank you for the opportunity.
Hon Majority Leader, would you be contributing so that I determine how many people to give — all right. Hon Deputy Majority Whip?
Thank you very much Mr Speaker, for the opportunity and to also urge Hon Members to support the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017 and work through it to become an Act. Mr Speaker, it is known that this is one of the realisations of the manifesto pledges of the President and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government. Mr Speaker, we all accept that the principle behind creating this Fund is good. This is because any effort that inure to the provision of the basic necessity of life for every community and every individual must be supported. Mr Speaker, we all know that water, sanitation, health, and educational issues are all challenges in all communities anyway, but we can also accept that some of the Zongo communities are one of the oldest communities in the country as well. Looking at an assessment of the development of those areas brings those challenges to the fore that need to be solved. Mr Speaker, apart from what Hon Colleagues have said, that Budget provisions and attempts have been made all round to develop communities, I think this is the first time that we are seeing an added Fund to develop the Zongo communities apart from the other ones that come from Budgets and other sources. Therefore, looking at it, we should all support and let it work. Mr Speaker, the NPP Government is demonstrating through this that we are so friendly to the Zongo community. [Hear! Hear!] Others who claim to be friends of the Zongo communities have not been able to even add this strategy as a source to provide the basic necessities for the Zongo community. Mr Speaker, teaching and learning of the Arabic language is very key in the moral upbringing of the Islamic religion. We all believe that the Arabic language is the basic language for reading the Quran. I have not entered any Mosque that the Quran is being read in the English language. It is read in the Arabic language. I believe that, through this, the Arabic language would be very critical, and through this Fund, if teaching and learning of the Arabic language is encouraged, the moral upbringing of the community would come to the fore. Mr Speaker, the Zongo community has what it called Council of Zongo Chiefs. In fact, when the Hon Minister came to my constituency and inaugurated the Council of the Zongo Chiefs, we realised that they are even one basic unit that can make input into the development of the Zongos. And for that matter, the buttom-up approach strategy that would bring the essence of this Fund would come to the fore. They live in that community and know their needs better. And through this Fund, that integration is going to come to the fore. As the Hon Minister has started already, he would go down there and work with them, therefore, what is really needed, would come. I am so surprised to hear Hon Colleagues and the Hon Minority Leader say that, this is going to be one of the rhetorics. I am so surprised. Does it mean you are supporting us to bring this Fund, or you already think that this thing would not work? If you believe it would not work based on a principle, come out and let us hear you but you cannot play in between the two. You want to support and at the same time, you are saying it is a rhetoric. Which one are you supporting? Mr Speaker, we also realised that, if you look at the Report —
Please, the Hon Minority Deputy Chief Whip is also on his feet. Is it a point of order? I hope you would draw our attention to the Standing Orders.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am referring you to Standing Order 91(a); “Debate may be interrupted -- (a) by a point of order being raised;” Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is referring to us, that we do not believe— we are saying that they are bringing a Bill that is going to be another rhetoric. Mr Speaker, that is not what we are saying. We are challenging why they are bringing a Bill and withdrawing the source of funding at birth. It means they do not believe in what they are doing and that is what we are saying. Clause 5, says that two per cent of earmarked Fund is going to be their source of funding to ameliorate the problems of the Zongos. When they are just giving birth to the Bill, they are removing the source of funding and questioning us? Are they going to maintain that two per cent Earmarked Fund to remove the problem seen at the Zongos? That is what we are saying. The Hon Member said we should take it from there but doubts whether we support him. He does not support himself and does not believe in what he is saying. He does not believe in the Bill. The Bill is dead at birth.
Hon Members, I thought there was consensus on this matter, that we all agree that there is an area that needs some special attention and that the policy of Government towards addressing the needs of Zongo communities is a welcome idea. So, the debate should be towards improving upon the Bill and not misunderstanding one another's sub- missions. The submission of the Hon Minority Leader was to the effect that, it should not -- he did not say it should be or that he does not believe in it. He said that it should not be one of the vain promises of politicians. Even though he said he did not want to be partisan, he referred to only the 2000 Manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Let us take it that we all support it and bring out ideas that could improve upon the submission of Government. At the end of the day, let us improve the Bill. This is because, we have the final authority to make laws. So, let us go along with this in the debate. I do not want to hear these petty differences about sources of financing when we have not finalised the Bill. Hon Member, you may wind up.
Mr Speaker, I believe many people have made contributions to the Second Reading of the Zongo Development Fund Bill. I do not intend to speak for long or even over-flog the issues that have been raised. The purpose of the Bill, as has been stated repeatedly, is to establish the Zongo Development Fund to help develop Zongo communities to become centres of opportunity. Recognisably, there are many infras- tructural deficits in the Zongo communities. So, the Bill recognises that the status quo is most unhelpful to the Zongos as settlements and the people who populate the Zongo communities.
“The State shall protect and safeguard the independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ghana, and shall seek the wellbeing of all her citizens.” We are all alluding to the fact that the people in the Zongo communities are deprived. The purpose of this Bill is to provide some comfort to them. Mr Speaker, many people in the Zongos as Hon Muntaka said, feel cocooned in the environment that they find themselves. This is to the extent that, even though the Zongo communities are supposed to be for strangers, if one went to the Zongo community, they would rather see them as a stranger who was entering where they otherwise consider to be a safe haven in spite of themselves. As far as they are concerned, they are “happy” where they find themselves because that is their comfort zone. They do not feel in reality, part of the country. Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Bill is to help liberate the populations of the Zongo communities and enable them feel that sense of belongingness. Article 36 (2) (d) of the Constitution provides that the State shall undertake “…even and balanced development of all regions and every part of each region of Ghana, and, in particular, improving the conditions of life in the rural areas…” Mr Speaker, I daresay, that such communities such as Zongo communities and “generally, redressing any imbalance in development between the rural and the urban areas;” Mr Speaker, this Bill is supposed to perform this task. That is an economic objective as expressed in the directive principles of State policy. Mr Speaker, in article 37 (2) (b) of our Constitution, the State is called upon to promote the rights and indeed, protect children and other vulnerable groups in the development processes which include women. This is what this Bill sets out to achieve. Mr Speaker, it has been argued and I have heard people say that the seed money of US$50 million would not do much and that was part of the submission of the Hon Minority Leader. I consider that statement unfortunate. Mr Speaker, nobody has said that the US$50 million is the only amount that would be used. This is because the sources of funding for the Fund has been provided clearly in section 5 of the Bill, and with your permission, I beg to quote: “The Sources of money for the Fund are; (a)moneys approved by Parliament; (b)grants, loans and other voluntary contributions;…” Mr Speaker, the combined total may even exceed the US$50 million seed money. So, who said that it is only US$50 million? Mr Speaker, let nobody also deceive him or herself that the Zongo Development Fund would take the place of other infrastructure building Ministries like; Sanitation and Water Resources, Works and Housing, Roads and Highways, Education and Health. Mr Speaker, the facilities that these Ministries would provide would be provided. They would continue to provide same. This would just compliment and it is a special “purpose vehicle which is dedicated to the Zongo communities”. Mr Speaker, I worry when people do not conjoin this and make it appear that the Government would wash its hands off the affairs of the Zongo communities and would only use this facility to develop the Zongo communities. That could only be described as most unfortunate. Mr Speaker, we all recognise that in spite of that, the allocation of resources to the Fund would still be inadequate and yet, that is not the finality. This is because the Bill is before us and we could work it out in such a manner to enhance the allocations to the Fund. Who knows? With the improvement of inflows from our Oil fields, perhaps, we may have to look at that. Mr Speaker, can we look at the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA)? If perhaps, we should reach production levels which exceed 300,000 barrels per day, can we say that, whatever is produced in excess of 300,000 or 250,000, we would have a percentage dedicated to the development of our Zongo communities? Mr Speaker, it is something that we should ponder over.
Hon Majority Leader, this issue cropped up when the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation raised an issue about earmarked Funds which is also captured in the Bill. He said that the Government's policy was against the Earmarked Funds and he referred to clause 5 (c) and said that the Committee was wrong in its calculation of two per cent of all Earmarked Funds which according to the Committee, would work up to the US$50 million as the seed Fund. That is what triggered this whole debate. So, we would have to clear doubts, but the Hon Minister for Inner-City and
Mr Speaker, those of them who have worked at the Ministry of Finance and indeed, including Hon Chairmen of Committees of Finance in this House, would not want to associate with earmarking. All Hon Ministers of Finance want flexibility in the application of the resources of the country. Mr Speaker, I am not worried if Hon Dr Anthony Akoto Osei says that we should not talk about earmarked Funds. Yet, we do know that, if we do not look at these matters, it would be difficult to bring the Zongo communities up. How we are to do it, is left to us. This idea came from Government. However, we could improve what is before us. Mr Speaker, that was why I said that perhaps, it may be possible going forward, to look at inflows. If we hit some targets, it is possible that, we could formulate some legislation to say that once we have hit a certain target, there should be some automaticity in the spill over into the Zongo Development Fund? This is because we recognise that there is a historical imbalance -- how do we bring them up? Mr Speaker, to those of them who said that it is mere pittance and it would not do anything, a quarter loaf is still better than nothing, and we could only begin from somewhere. Mr Speaker, if after two or three years we realise that we have made some progress, but at a snail pace, and we would have to reinvigorate it, so, shall we do it. Mr Speaker, we should not go into, as you said, the realm of pettiness that this Government said that it would do a particular thing but did not do it, and another Government said it would do a particular thing but never did it. Mr Speaker, we could go through what broken promises the National Democratic Congress (NDC) made as captured in their Manifesto. We could also go through the Manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and see that certain promises were not met. Mr Speaker, we have prophets of doom who say that it would be broken again. We should not go on that trajectory at all. We should not be doom sayers and eternal pessimists. Pessimism would not take us anywhere. We should take the initial steps and I believe that with goodwill on the part of all of us, we shall make progress to help elevate the lot of the residents in the Zongo communities. Mr Speaker, I have a huge Zongo community at Suame Kotoko and with respect, sometimes, when one enters into a yard, one has to hold his or her nose yet people live there. What can we do for the people in those areas? That is what should concern us.
Yes, Hon Minister of State at the Office of the President?
Mr Speaker, I am the Hon Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development.
The Bill says, “This Fund Bill under the supervision of a Minister of State at the Office of the President”
Mr Speaker, all Ministries or Ministers are under the Presidency. Mr Speaker, I rise to appreciate my Hon Colleagues for all statements, comments and contributions they have made so far. I am so grateful. But I need to make a few comments. First of all, I just want to get my Hon Colleagues not to be disappointed for not seeing ‘Inner City'. This is because I get a colleague getting confused why ‘Zongo Development Fund' and not ‘Inner City Development Fund'. These are two different Departments. Mr Speaker, when my Hon Colleague and brother, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak was trying to explain ‘Zongo', it is the temporal residence of a traveller. In Hausa, when one hears Kubarimu kafa zango munan, to wit, “let us stay here for a while and after some time, we pack and leave”. That is why today, we find out that the architectural designs of the Zongos are not equal to what we have in our modern days.
Hon Minister, before you conclude, when you look at page (iv), you signed the Bill as Minister of State for Inner-City and Zongo Development. At page (ii), on the second paragraph, it says and I quote: “Giving the importance of the Bill, its implementation would be taken care of directly by the Office of the President, where a Minister of State at the Presidency would oversee its day to day implementation.” I believe you need to clarify the fact that you are the Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, but the Fund would be managed by another Minister of State at the Office of the Presidency. That is what this Bill says and that is why I raised the earlier issue for you to clarify. I have not heard you on that.
Mr Speaker, I thought this clause had been corrected but unfortunately, it still remains. I hope when we come to the Consideration Stage, it would be corrected. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017 was accordingly read a Second time.
Available Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, I request that we suspend and come back in an hour's time to continue with the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 at the Consideration Stage. This is because the winnowing team worked up to clause 20. We are at clause 15 and we thought that we could consider up to clause 20 when we come back.
Is that the sense of the House? I ask this because, we wanted to suspend at 2.00 p.m. and the House insisted we should go on with this Second Reading.
Mr Speaker, I believe you have already made the point clearly that we wanted to suspend at 2.00 p.m. but it is now 20 minutes after 4.00 p.m. Experience in this House shows that whenever we suspend Sitting and we want to come back after one hour, we end up coming back after two, three or even four hours. So, the point is that, if it is 20 minutes past 4.00 p.m. and we suspend, what time would we come back? Assuming we are to come after the one hour as he said, but we end up coming back after two hours, we would be here at 6.20 p.m. What should we do? Looking at the temperature in the Chamber and reading from the faces of Hon Members, I believe that we could adjourn the House and devote tomorrow completely for the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 and work on it. It is better than suspending and coming back after one hour as he said.
Mr Speaker, I wonder how the Hon Deputy Minority Leader could get the sense of the House on his own. As I said, tomorrow's activities have been set. In fact, looking at what we want to do tomorrow, the consideration of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 would not come off tomorrow. Because the winnowing was done up to clause 20, we thought we could finish that today so that the other Businesses that have been slated for tomorrow could go through. So, I would still plead that Hon Members should indulge us and let us complete the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 up to the winnowing point so that tomorrow we can do the other Businesses. I so submit, Mr Speaker.
Hon Deputy Majority Whip, your Leadership knows what to do. You have compelled me to sit up to this time without even lunch.
Mr Speaker, with all humility and respect, there is lunch.
Please, Hon Members, I am being direct because it is important we take our health seriously. So, if that had been the issue, we should have taken the break at 2.00 p.m. One does not go for lunch break around 4.30 p.m., please.
Mr Speaker, I looked at the provisional Order Paper for tomorrow, we have only Questions. So, if he says that tomorrow's activities have been planned, the plan for tomorrow is only Questions for one hour. After that, Mr Speaker, we would consider the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you know that, that is provisional. So, the uncompleted Business of the day is carried on to the next day. So, maybe, they just made provision for what we might not have done today. But I see the insistence of the Majority bench that we should come back after suspension. So, we would give ourselves one hour and we would come back. Whatever we can do, we would do. But please, let us be
Mr Speaker, yes, that is the case. One is only relevant when he or she is alive. It is true.
Yes, and I would want to be alive. Anyway, Hon Members, let us take suspension for one hour. We would resume to continue with Business of the House.
Mr Speaker, I have no problem. We can suspend.
The House is accordingly suspended for one hour. 4.28 p.m. -- Sitting suspended 5.55 p.m. -- Sitting resumed
Hon Members, please, resume your seats. Hon Second Deputy Majority Whip, what is the pleasure of the House?
Mr Speaker, we completed up to clause 15 and we would want to continue from there.
You would want us to continue with the Consideration Stage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill?
Mr Speaker, we completed up to clause 15, so, we would continue from clause 16.
Yes, Minority Bench, is there any issue?
I saw you -- You would want to make sure that the Mace is put at the right place? All right. I think that has been done. Still at the Consideration Stage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
[Continuation of debate from column 1930]
Mr Speaker, before I move the proposed amendment, under clause 16, I would like to seek your leave to further amend clause 16 which has been captured under Order Paper Addendum 2. I believe that the two proposed amendments should be done at the same time.
Yes, Order Paper Addendum 2.
Mr Speaker, under clause 16 (4), we are adding --
Hon Chairman of the Committee, let us take the amendment on Order Paper Addendum 2. Yes, this is because that deals with subclause 2.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 16 and in its place, insert a new clause and that would affect subclause (2), line 2 of the Bill.
So, you are no longer going to move what is put as (iv) at page 2 of the Order Paper Addendum 2?
Mr Speaker, I will move that of the Order Paper Addendum 2, except that Order Paper Addendum 2, subclause 2, I would like to seek your leave to move that one and add same to subclause (4) under clause 16.
All right. Yes, so, we would now go to the original Order Paper at page 7, clause 16.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 16, delete and insert the following: “Functions of the Deputy Special Prosecutor (1) The Deputy Special Prosecutor shall assist the Special Prosecutor in the performance of the functions of the Special Prosecutor. (2) The Special Prosecutor shall assign one of the operational divisions of the Office to the Deputy Special Prosecutor. (3) The Deputy Special Prosecutor shall perform such other functions that may be assigned by the Special Prosecutor. (4) The Deputy Special Prosecutor shall act in the absence of the Special Prosecutor.
Mr Speaker, the way he has moved this Motion, he is making the Deputy Special Prosecutor automatically a Special Prosecutor. Is he going to act or in the position? In the event of a vacancy in the position of the Special Prosecutor -- [Interruption] -- is he to act?
Hon Chairman, I have a bit of a problem with the new proposed amendment of clause 16 (2). “The Special Prosecutor shall assign one of the operational divisions of the Office to the Deputy Special Prosecutor” Is there any special reason this is not being left as administrative but you are insisting that one of the operational divisions must be assigned to the Deputy Special Prosecutor? Any reason for that?
Mr Speaker, this proposition came up when we met at Koforidua to consider the clause-by- clause provisions of the Bill. Majority of the people were of the was that, if we do not legislate to assign the Deputy Special Prosecutor one of the operational divisions, the tendency may be that, the Special Prosecutor may not have any work to do. So, that if the Special Prosecutor would have to do any work, the onus would have to fall on the Special Prosecutor to assign a duty to the Deputy Special Prosecutor and we do not want such a situation to crop up. Mr Speaker, we would want the Deputy Special Prosecutor to have a duty to perform but this duty must not necessarily be assigned to the Deputy Special Prosecutor before he has something to do. The Deputy Special Prosecutor must at any point in time have some work to do. In addition to the Deputy Special Prosecutor having oversight responsibility over one of the operational divisions, the Special Prosecutor may also assign any other responsibilities, duties or functions to the Deputy Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, this is the underlying reason we felt that, we have to legislate in order to give one of the operational divisions to the Deputy Special Prosecutor.
How many operational divisions have you established? I cannot find that in the Bill.
Mr Speaker, we have about four --
In clause 18?
Mr Speaker, we have Administration, Investigations, Prosecutions and Assets Recovery and Management Divisions. So, four divisions have been created.
Is this what you refer to as operational divisions?
Mr Speaker, that is so.
Is Administrative Division an operational division?
Mr Speaker, this is what we refer to as one of the operational divisions as captured under clause 18 of the Bill.
Hon Members, I think that the insistence is that it should be given one of the divisions and not operational division.
Mr Speaker, I have seen the divisions but from the way the Hon Chairman is speaking, which ones are the operational divisions? Which ones? He has excluded (a) which is not operational and he could be responsible for investigations, prosecutions or asset
Apart from that, I have a problem with the structure that you have conceptualised. Is he going to have only one deputy? Is there not a possibility for him to have two deputies? Only one deputy is usually not good for public service. We need to create the opportunity for competition for people to try to excel, but when there is only one then the tendency is that when the superior is not available, the next person should be the next in command. I thought that, we should talk about one Special Prosecutor with two deputies, at least, so that we could have the opportunity to assess them. Usually, one is in charge of finance and administration and another is in charge of operations and others; and then the Special Prosecutor is at the acme and supervising the two and responsible for the overall division. Hon Chairman, you are creating one now and then you would assign one division to that person. So, what happens? The Special Prosecutor would still be ultimately responsible for what happens in that division. I have a problem with that.
Mr Speaker, the issue you are raising is very valid but this is a new creation and the way we are creating the myth around the Special Prosecutor, the idea is that, we do not want many people to be Deputy Special Prosecutors and that is why one has been created. We need to start and see if there would be any need for more. Mr Speaker, but what you are saying is that, we could actually provide for Deputy Prosecutors; appoint one and when there is any more job then we appoint another one. On the other hand, if we are going to create divisions then I do not see why subclause (2) is necessary. This is because there is no way all those directors would deal directly with the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, but with the competition that you are talking about -- this is a special office that we are creating so the whole idea is not how to disperse the whole thing but to make the power to be concentrated in one person. That is the problem.
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, the appointment of one Deputy Special Prosecutor is a policy decision and I believe that we have gone past that stage. Mr Speaker, but with respect to the divisions, I believe that there would be a head for each of the divisions. For instance, there would be a head for the administrative division, a head for investigative division and so on. Mr Speaker, the reason we did not indicate specifically which of the divisions should go to the Deputy Special Prosecutor was that, we did not want to tie the hands of the Special Prosecutor to a particular division. We want him to have as much flexibility as possible in deciding which of the divisions he deems fit or expedient to assign to the Deputy Special Prosecutor. This is because he is the boss and he would have to go through all the divisions and decide where each should go and which one ought to be given to the Deputy Special Prosecutor. This is the reason we just decided that we should just put in the legislation that one of the divisions should go to the Deputy Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, it is for the Special Prosecutor to decide which of the divisions should go to the deputy.
Mr Speaker, thank you. Mr Speaker, in clause 18, there are four divisions which means that, there would be four divisional heads and these would be supervised by the Special Prosecutor. But in the first amendment, we said that the Deputy Special Prosecutor shall assist the Special Prosecutor in the performance of the functions of the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, in that sense, I think that the (2) is not necessary. In the absence of a director, the Special Prosecutor could decide that the Deputy should take charge of that division. So, once the Special Prosecutor could assign the deputy to take care of a division and we have done that in clause 16 (1), then the clause 16 (2) is not necessary -- so that the Special Prosecutor would have the flexibility. If the Administrative Divisional head is not available then the deputy could be asked to take charge as well. If the head for Assets Recovery Division is not available, then the deputy could take charge. In that case, you give him the flexibility to act. But if we put in the legislation that, the Special Prosecutor should assign the Deputy to one of the divisions, it means we are going to have only three divisional heads in addition to the Deputy Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, to me, paragraph 2 is not necessary, once paragraph 1 would take care of the Special prosecutor assigning the Deputy to one of the divisions. Or he could even assign him to the two.
I anticipate that, the Special Public Prosecutor would be so busy that he or she would need the support of an efficient and effective staff. And I expected that with these four divisions and others likely to be created by the Board, they would work through the deputies to the Special Prosecutor. So, if we assign one of the divisions to the Deputy Special Prosecutor, that division would not have a divisional head. It means the other divisions would report directly to the Special Prosecutor, but I do not think that would be right. Divisions should report through the Deputy to the Special Prosecutor. This is because it is important that, the deputies equally know what happens so that in the likelihood of the absence of the Special Prosecutor they could act in his stead. If we do it this way, we are likely to create problems in the Office. That is the experience that I had in working in the Public Service for a short while. So, I am sharing that with you, but you have to take the decision. Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, listening to you, we would have to reconsider the rationale for this point. The rationale was simply that, we did not want an overburdened Special Prosecutor. And we have seen it in some Ministries, an overburdened Minister not assigning any responsibility to the Deputy at all. And to all intents and purposes, the Deputy Special Prosecutor would be useless in that case. Mr Speaker, this amendment was suggested in Koforidua to see whether we could force a legislative delegation or assignment of responsibility. But I agree with you that probably we would need to reconsider it, especially, when we are suggesting in paragraph 3 of the same amendment that the Deputy Special Prosecutor shall perform such other functions that may be assigned by the Special Prosecutor. The Special Prosecutor could assign any such functions. In addition to assisting the Special Prosecutor to perform his functions to the Deputy; the
Apart from that, Ministers and Deputy Ministers are political office holders and their appointments might be based on any technical expertise. It is political; some are given appointments for political purposes. So, we cannot compel a Minister to give an assignment to a Deputy whose assignment might be for a political purpose and the Deputy might not be able to perform. There are good reasons for those political appointees. We are dealing with a system of representation. All sectors would want to be seen represented. So, we cannot use that analogy with a technical office.
Mr Speaker, I did not initially see the paragraph 3. That paragraph 3 already gives the Special Prosecutor the flexibility to appoint or assign -- But as we are all saying, if one has a deputy managing director or deputy chief executive, firstly, it means that the divisional heads, ideally, should be working through him, unless he does not want that bureaucracy. Unless the chief executive decides that a particular issue is so important and so he should report directly to him without the deputy. But of course, the concern that the Hon Speaker has raised is also real in many instances, particularly, in the Public Service. In the political office, when the
Mr Speaker, having listened to Hon Members, having taken a cue from you and having done further consultation, I respectfully drop paragraph 2.
Thank you, Hon Chairman. I will now put the Question since we have debated it enough. The Question is that, clause 16, delete the whole clause and insert the following, as outlined in pages 7 and 8 on the Order Paper, under item xviii, except the paragraph numbered 2. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, clause 16?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, this amendment stands in the name of the Hon Minority Leader.
Well, I believe those amendments proposed by the Hon Minority Leader have been taken care of by an earlier amendment. And so, we would take it that consequentially they are withdrawn. Mr Speaker, we should refer to pages 7 and 8 of today's Order Paper and the Addendum as well. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
So, what is the issue? I thought it was added to the amendment as stated on pages 7 and 8. So, there was no need for me to refer to Order Paper Addendum 2.
Mr Speaker, the issue is, because it had been advertised on the Order Paper Addendum 2 --
No, he sought for leave to add it to the original Order Paper, which was granted, and so I would have to put the Question again.
Very well, Mr Speaker. Question put and agreed to. Clause 16 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 17 -- Removal of Deputy Special Prosecutor.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17, subclause (3), line 2, after “shall” insert “within seven days” and in line 3, after “shall”, insert “within thirty days”.
“Where a President receives a petition for the removal of the Deputy Special Prosecutor, the President shall within seven days refer the petition to the Chief Justice who shall within thirty days determine whether there is a prima facie case.” Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity. Mr Speaker, looking at clauses 14 and 17 of the Bill, the two clauses all function in line with article 146 of the Constitution. So, can we conveniently say that clause 14 applies in Section 17, since everything in clause 14 is repeated in clause 17? Mr Speaker, it makes it so neat. The condition under which the Special Prosecutor would be removed from office is substantially the same as the condition based on which the Deputy Special Prosecutor would also be removed from office. Clause 14 of the Bill has completely taken care of that situation. Mr Speaker, my humble submission.
Mr Speaker, I rise in support of what the Hon Member just stated, so that instead of going through this whole thing, we could just say that the removal process for the Special Prosecutor as enshrined in clause 14 applies. I believe that would be --
Hon Members, is that the sense of the House? If that, is the sense, then I would have to direct that, they are consequential amendments that would be taken care of by the draftsperson.
Mr Speaker, this issue was discussed, but what I wanted us to understand was that, we would have to state, either in clauses 14 or 17, that this applies to the other. Mr Speaker, therefore the issue is, whether we should put it in clause 14 and say that it applies to -- I know the draftspersons would do that, but that would require us to amend that part, which would then say that this procedure as outlined here applies to the Deputy Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, alternatively, once we have separated the Offices, we can not say in clause 17 that it should also apply in the case of the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, this morning, because we had already passed clause 14, the idea was that we could relax the rules, but the Hon Chairman was opposed to that. He said the lawyers should have a field's day of having a big law, which they read. So, he would want us to maintain both operations, even though it is the same work. Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman is not speaking to what the Hon Member said, and so I would say it on his behalf.
Hon Member, I wanted to direct -- but I would hear you before that.
Mr Speaker, you have got the direction of the House or the sense of the House, but I am saying that the whole of clause 17 deals with the removal of the Deputy Special Prosecutor, which has substantially the same provisions as clause 14. Mr Speaker, probably what we need is just clause 17, where we would insert that the removal processes stipulated in clause 14 of this Bill applies to the removal of the Deputy Special Prosecutor, and that becomes everything.
Hon Members, I hereby direct that for the removal of the Deputy Special Prosecutor, the amendments effected in clause 14 shall consequentially apply. The draftsperson should take note and effect the necessary amendments accordingly. It is so directed. So, we would move to clause 18. Clause 18 -- Divisions of the Office.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 18, insert the following section headnote: “Administrative and Financial Provisions”
Hon Chairman, you should come again.
Mr Speaker, before “Divisions of the Office” on page 14 of the Bill, we would insert “Administrative and Financial Provisions.”
Yes, Hon Bernard Ahiafor?
Mr Speaker, if we look at page (iv) of the Memorandum of the Bill, the second paragraph states: “The Office is required to have four Divisions namely, the Administrative Division, the Investigations Division, the Prosecutions Division and the Asset Recovery and Management Division…” So, clearly, by the principle stated here, we are supposed to have “Administrative Division”, but not “Administrative and Financial Division”. Mr Speaker, we need to be clear as to why we are departing from this particular principle to add “Financial” to “Administrative Division” contrary to the principle based on which this law is fashioned.
Well, my Order Paper may be different from yours because what I have --
Mr Speaker, they are not talking about the clause itself. The sectional division, the one in italics --
I know. He talked about the headnote.
It is not the one in deep ink. The sectional headnote; the divisional headnote. My Hon Colleague said that because we have brought the provisions under where we have finances included, which are sources of funding, presentation of accounts and annual reports based on -- They should all come under these divisional sections. That is why it is not changed; it should be changed.
Hon Members, we are called upon to consider that before we get to clause 18, because this comes before clause 18, as a section headnote -- “Administrative and Financial Provisions”. That is before we go to clause 18. We are called upon to insert that. I believe it is clear now. When you go through the Bill, you would see that it is put in sections, but this one is a section that has not been headed; so, they are providing a heading for the section as “Administrative and Financial Provisions”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Now clause 18.
Mr Speaker, initially, we had decided to drop clause 18 (1) (a); but upon further consultations, we decided that there has to be an Administrative Division. So, in view of this, I will respectfully withdraw this proposed amendment.
Well, the Hon Chairman is withdrawing the proposed amendment at item 11 (xxvii). I believe this one is very clear.
We would go to the next proposed amendment at clause 18.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move the amendment advertised as item number (xxviii) on page 9 standing in the name of Hon Rockson-Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor to insert before “Adminis- trative”, “Finance and” . Mr Speaker, the headnote we just amended talks about Administration and Finance, and the normal practice with the Divisions is that Administration is coupled with Finance. Indeed, at the winnowing stage, we --
Hon Member, first, you need to get my permission, and tell us the authority with which you move the amendment. You have not said anything. You are not Hon Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.
Mr Speaker, I am taking liberties. I seek your permission to indulge me to move the amendment advertised on page 9, which stands in the name of Hon Rockson-Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor, on his behalf.
Granted. Alhaji Inusah Fuseini (on behalf of
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 18, subclause (1), paragraph (a), before “Administrative” insert “Finance and”
That is also not correct. Do further amendment because it should be “Administration”, not “Administrative”.
Very well, Mr Speaker, I further amend the amendment advertised on page 9, in particular clause 18 (1) (a); delete paragraph (a) and insert “Administration”. So, we delete paragraph (a) in its entirety and insert “Finance and Administration Division”.
This is very clear. It just creates a Division. The first proposal, “Administrative Division”, is incorrect; so they are deleting it and inserting “Finance and Administration Division”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
We still have a further amendment to clause 18 standing in the name of Hon Rockson- Nelson Dafeamekpor.
Mr Speaker, I seek your indulgence to move the amendment captured on page 9, particularly number 11 (xxix) standing in the name of --
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I would like to drop the amendment.
He has asked to withdraw the amendment. Do you have something against the withdrawal?
No, Mr Speaker, but I have a further amendment to paragraph (b) when we come to that.
All right. Then we have to take yours because that is the last proposed amendment to clause 18. What is your proposed amendment to that clause?
Mr Speaker, when we looked at the functions of the Special Prosecutor, we agreed that he or she would investigate issues of corruption and corruption related activities. Glancing through the Bill, I propose a further amendment to clause 18. I beg to move, clause 18 (b), delete “Investigations Division” and insert “Complaints and Investigations Division”. This is because (a) is on, Finance and Administration, and (b) is only on investigation. How would somebody access that office, file a complaint and ask for investigations to be conducted before prosecution and other functions of the office would be carried out? So, my amendment is that a “Complaints and Investigation Division” ought to be established, so that anybody who has information on an allegation could directly go to that particular office and file it.
Chairman of the Committee, you heard him. What do you say to that?
Mr Speaker, that is not a bad proposition, except that I have a problem with putting the “Complaints Division” together with the “Investigations Division”.
Do we have to elevate the complaints to the status of a division or unit? Under a division, we would have departments and units. Do we have to elevate complaints to the status of a division? Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, exactly so. When we read the Bill, it anticipates the receipt of information. We could establish it as a unit of the “Investigations Division”. Mr Speaker, we would recall that when we saw “received”, in some instances, we said that we should couple it with an object; but at other times, we said we should change the word. So, we could have the “Information or Complaints Unit” under the “Investiga- tions Division”. This is so that when they receive, they could then evaluate and determine whether a prima facie case has been made for them to do a detailed investigation. However, we should not establish it as a division.
Hon Chairman, let me listen to Hon Yieleh Chireh first.
Mr Speaker, I thought that I heard the Hon Member who proposed this amendment say that we should add ‘complaints' to investigations as a division. If we do not want to do that, but would create a unit under the “Investigations Division”, that would be fine. However, he did not want us to create another division. He wanted us to combine “Complaints” and “Investigations”. In that case, I would also oppose that because, if we say so, virtually everything has to be bottlenecked at the “Complaints and Investigations Division”. It would look like people have complaints and they would want to -- It is not a police station where one would go and make complaints. One would go and give information. One could be a whistle blower who goes to complain to somebody; that is not fair. However, we could have a unit under it. So, let us just give it a broad term like “Investigations Division”, and know that there would be a unit to receive the information or complaint. That is why I want to oppose adding “complaints”. Otherwise, we would see all kinds of people make complaints there.
Mr Speaker, upon a further reading of the clause, I realised that under clause 18 (2): “The Board may establish any other division necessary for the effective performance of the functions of the Office.” I would propose that we leave the establishment of other divisions to the discretion of the Board. As and when the need arises and if the Board deems it necessary to create further divisions, they may do so. So, we should leave it as it is.
Mr Speaker, I think that Hon Yieleh Chireh said that we should leave it as it is, and know that a unit would come under the “Investigations Division”. How would we know? We would make the law today, but tomorrow, we may not be there. Who would know or how would the people then know?
Hon Member, you have raised a different issue. Let us deal with the first issue before we come to whether we should allow the Board to establish other divisions. That is a second issue. On the first issue, I think that we should -- Hon Chairman, I thought that I heard you say we should retain what we have and permit clause 18 (2) to work. The Hon Member said that he disagrees with us allowing the Board to be responsible for the creation of other divisions. What is your response to that?
Mr Speaker, this would be a new and specialised office and we cannot, as of now, foresee events that would unfold when it is operationalised. The fact that the Board has the mandate to create further divisions does not mean that if the need has not arisen, they would create them. So, I respectfully propose that, we leave it to the discretion of the Board. As and when it becomes necessary for a division to be created, they would do so. As of now, we cannot contemplate everything that may crop up in the course of the performance of the functions of the Special Prosecutor. In view of this, I would rather propose that clause 18 (2) ought not to be disturbed. It is not there for nothing. It is there to take care of certain future eventualities. Mr Speaker, if we do not put in an omnibus clause of this nature, if the situation arises where the Office is required to create an additional division, then the office would have to come back to Parliament to amend the law in order to create a passage for the creation of an additional division. We think that would be too cumbersome and convoluted. So, I would pray that we leave it as it is.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who proposed the amendment mentioned my name when he got up and related that. I said the Unit of Complaints should be set up administratively but he did not like that. Mr Speaker, yes, I said that instead of adding “complaints” to “investigation” as a division, as the Hon Chairman rightly said initially, the Investigation Division would have a Complaints Units. If there is a lot of work for the Complaints Unit, which would require setting up a division, in that case, it could be created. Mr Speaker, that is why clause 2 is important. A scenario must be first created for the Board to be able to create more divisions. It is the volume of work and the number of units that every division would have - when the units under it have too much work and cannot report to one divisional head, then a division would be created.
Mr Speaker, I believe that we should agree with the Hon Chairman of the Committee. For the Hon Member, it is administrative. We do not want it to be legislated because no division could just be one division. There may be units under the division. At this stage, if it becomes necessary, the Complaints Unit under the Investigation Department could be set up.
Hon Member, I thought you got the sense that the intention is not to create another large bureaucracy at the onset. As things unfold and as we grow and develop, if there is the need for the creation of other divisions, there is no need for it to come back to Parliament. The Board should be empowered to do so. Hon Member, I believe you still itch to say something.
Mr Speaker, I still believe that the Board should be allowed to establish new units or departments under various divisions that would be defined by this House. This is because the establishment of a division is so huge. There would be a divisional head, the various vehicles that would work with it and the officers that would come under the division is such that, we should think through it. If we believe that there is anything that the Special Prosecutor would do other than these four that have been defined, we should also define it here, so that the Board would be given the mandate to establish departments or units under divisions, and not divisions on their own.
Units and departments are established by Chief Executives and not usually by a Board. A Board deals with the bigger picture; policy decisions and the rest. Boards cannot establish units and their departments.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, the heading of clause 26 deals with “Complaint procedure and referrals”. Mr Speaker, we have not got there yet, but I would want to find out because I am a bit curious. There is a whole clause on complaint procedure and referrals, so what division --
Hon Member, when we get to that we would go through it, but the issue was whether we should elevate complaints to a level of a division and not a department or a unit. This is because there is the fear of the creation of too many divisions. The levels of personnel at the divisional level are higher, so, we would establish a large bureaucracy. We cannot have a Director of a division stand alone; there must be staff under him or her. So, we would want to shy away from establishing a very large bureaucratic structure just to perform specified functions, which we believe, a smaller unit could handle. If there is the need for it in the future, it would be done. That is why the Board would be empowered to do so. I believe we should go ahead. Hon Members, is that the sense of the House?
Mr Speaker, I would want to ask you whether you would put the Question on-
I would put the Question on the whole of clause 18.
Mr Speaker, then I would want to seek your leave to propose a further amendment to clause 18 (1) (a) which has just been amended to “Finance And Administrative Division”
Hon Member, no, it was changed to “finance and administration”.
Mr Speaker, then I would withdraw the amendment. Thank you. Dr Patrick Boakye-Yiadom -- rose
Yes, Hon Member? Are you Hon Patrick Boakye- Yiadom?
Yes, Mr Speaker, I am Hon Boakye-Yiadom. Mr Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the House to a repetition of the headnote section. When we look at the arrangement of the section, we have a section headnote, “Administrative and Financial Provision”, which begins with clause 12 up to clause 25. It is correctly captured in the Bill before clause 12. Mr Speaker, I do not see why we should repeat it before clause 18.
Hon Member, I have just been informed that you were not present in the House. [Laughter.] That was deleted, it was not permitted to stay. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 18 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 19 -- Secretariat of the Office.
Mr Speaker, I would want to seek your indulgence and permission to further amend the proposed amendment under clause 19. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, subclause (1), before “Secretary” delete “the” and insert “an Executive” instead of “a”.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, please, move your amendment again.
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be: “The Office shall have a Secretariat headed by an Executive Secretary”. Mr Speaker, initially, the original proposed amendment was “The Office shall have a Secretariat headed by a Secretary.” When we read, especially clause 3, we realised that the day to day administration of the Office would be done by the Secretary. We were of the view that the day to day administration of the Office would be carried out by the Secretariat, headed by a Secretary, that person is not an “ordinary” Secretary. This is because, apart from carrying out the day to day administration of the Office, he or she also arranges the meetings of the Board. His or her work goes beyond the scope and limit of an “ordinary” Secretary. That explains why we are inserting “an Executive” to qualify the Secretary to make it “an Executive Secretary”.
Mr Speaker, unless the Hon Chairman further explains, we would create two bosses in the Office of the Special Prosecutor. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is headed by the Special Prosecutor, then we have an Executive Secretary. The moment we put “Executive”, he would think he has powers; but we could have a Secretary to a Board or to whoever. So, if we want a Secretary, that is fine; but if we want an Executive Secretary, because he or she would be in charge of the Secretariat and would carry out activities of the Secretariat without reference to the Special Prosecutor, then we would create two conflicting situations. Mr Speaker, an “ordinary” Secretary does not mean one who a person dictates to and makes copies, et cetera; no. For instance, if a person is a Secretary to the Bank of Ghana, it is a big position with responsibilities. He or she arranges the meetings and makes sure that the Minutes of the Board are taken properly; but other people would be there to use shorthand to collate the ideas. Mr Speaker, we should not create another ‘executive' here because, that would be a problem. In fact, Presidents of Ghana have created that already. They always attach ‘Executive Secretaries' to them. How could we do that? So is he higher than the President? We voted for the President. So, when we appoint the Special Prosecutor, we do not want any ‘Executive Secretary' there.
Executive Secretary is analogous to Chief Executive. So, there is a snag there.
Mr Speaker, we realised that, the Secretary would not just be a recorder. Most Secretaries are recorders. This Secretary, by the functions contemplated under clause 19, is not a recorder. He or she would execute activities and ensure that the Office of the Special Prosecutor runs.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity. If we look at clause 18, we have amended it to Finance and Administration and we again stated in clause 19 subclause (3)(a) that the Secretary would be responsible for the day to day administration of the Office. Mr Speaker, I have a problem in the sense that, if the Secretary would be responsible for the day to day administration, then what would the Finance and Administration do? I am looking at it in a way that the Secretariat may even be a component of the Finance and Administration and the Secretary would be the Head of the Secretariat but not an Executive Secretary. So, we should allow the rendition to stay the way it is, so that we can do a further amendment to take the issue of the day to day administration of the Office from the Secretary when we come to clause 19, subclause (3).
Hon Chairman, you have heard the con- tributions of Hon Members. What do you say to that? You would want to have a division in charge of Finance and Administration, but you create under that the position of an Executive Secretary; that is conceptually and in practice, is Chief Executive Officer -- the Head of the Administration. How would the two be able to work together to support the work of the Special Prosecutor?
Mr Speaker, I believe the Secretariat is a subset of the administration division. To that extent, I do not think the creation of the Secretariat would run in conflict with the creation of the Administration.
No! Not the Secretariat — The position of Executive Secretary as against the divisional head of Finance and Administration. That is what they are talking about. The Secretariat is necessary — You need the Secretariat, but you are looking for somebody to head just the Secretariat and you want to elevate that position to Executive Secretary, which is very high. This is because, executive secretaries have executive powers.
Mr Speaker, I will take a cue from you, drop the proposed amendment and maintain the original clause.
Hon Member, I thought the cue would be from your Hon Colleagues and not from me. I am just sharing it with you. Yes, let me listen to Hon Asafu-Adjei.
Mr Speaker, the responsibility of the secretary is very clear. We said he runs the day-to-day administration of the office and is answerable to the Special Prosecutor. All it implies here is that, the Secretary is in charge of administration. So, why do we not say ‘Administrative Secretary'? I believe it is appropriate to say ‘Administrative Secretary' than ‘Executive Secretary'. This is because the functions of the secretary are very clear. [Uproar.]
Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Speaker, my Hon Ranking Member made some emphatic statements about the ‘Executive Secretary'. In the case of the Narcotics Control Board, who do we call the head? He is the Executive Secretary. So, with certain positions, once we say ‘Executive', he is the Chief Executive or the Managing Director. That is the equivalent. Therefore, the use of the word ‘executive' denotes the head of the institution. That is why I early on said that, we are creating two bosses. If we are also talking about a secretary to a Board in a financial sector or other corporate bodies, then sometimes, the person has to be a lawyer to be a secretary to that Board. Therefore, if we are looking for a person with legal background, we are not looking for somebody who would take down minutes in short hand. We would not dictate to that person. Indeed, that person as well advises on legal issues. What we want to create is not right because our law making vocabulary has established that, the moment we say, ‘executive' it means the head of that institution unless we change it. But if we now start to create ‘Executive Secretary' here, it is not right. We can only have a secretary to the Board and if we have that, we would not talk about just ‘administrative secretary'. We would talk about a lawyer or somebody with administrative experience who can advise and ensure that the minutes are in order. The person taking minutes may not fully understand the implications. So, the minutes is brought to you as a secretary and it is edited. So, I do not want us to get confused about this because we would be complicating issues in our own legislation.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, as I have already stated, I am withdrawing the further proposed amendment and maintaining the original proposed amendment, except to say that I am further amending clause 19(2).
Hon Chairman of the Committee, we are still dealing with clause 19(1).
So, Mr Speaker, clause 19(1) remains. I have withdrawn the further proposed amendment.
But there is a relevant amendment. I quote: “The office shall have a secretariat headed by a secretary.” That is on page 9 of the Order Paper, the last clause numbered xxx.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 19, subclause (1), before “Secretary” delete “the” and insert “a”. The new rendition will be: “The office shall have a secretariat headed by a secretary.”
Hon Members, an amendment has been moved. We have already debated it. So, I will put the Question -- [Interruption.] Hon Dr Appiah-Kubi?
Mr Speaker, I would just want to know what the secretary would do. What shall the office have a secretary for?
The secretariat is being headed by somebody referred to as a secretary.
Mr Speaker, shall he perform the day to day functions and be answerable to the Special Prosecutor?
Hon Member, after that we would get to the other clauses to see how we can refine them to reflect this position. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Clause 19(2), Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 19 subclause (2), delete and insert the following: “(2) The Special Prosecutor in consultation with the Board shall designate a person appointed under section 20 as secretary to head the secretariat who shall also serve as the secretary to the Board. So, the new rendition will be: “The Special Prosecutor in consultation with the Board shall designate a person appointed under section 20 as secretary to head the secretariat who shall also serve as the secretary to the Board.”
Hon Chairman of the Committee, you would have to take your proposed amendment again. [Interruption.] Yes, take the amendment again.
Mr Speaker, I seek your leave to further amend clause 19(2) by the insertion of the following after ‘secretariat': “…who shall also serve as the secretary to the Board.”
“The Special Prosecutor in consultation with the Board shall designate a person appointed under section 20 as secretary to head the secretariat to the Board”
Hon Chairman of the Committee, you are aware that clause 19(1) has already been moved and taken by the House. In clause 19(1), the person to head the ‘Secretariat' is called Secretary. So, that is clear. If we want to say that it is that Secretary who should be the secretary to the Board, then let us re-phrase the proposed amendment. Or we could go back to clause 19(1) and delete it.
Mr Speaker, clause 19(1) is the opening statement: “The Office shall have a Secretariat headed by a Secretary” In clause 19(2), we are deleting and inserting: “The Special Prosecutor in consultation with the Board shall designate a person appointed under section 20 as secretary to head the Secretariat who shall also be secretary to the Board”.
Hon Chairman, clause 19(1) has clearly stated who should be the secretary to the Secretariat. So, we do not need consultation between the Special Prosecutor and the Board to appoint the person. We have already stated it there.
Mr Speaker, our thinking is that, clause 19(1) states a general principle. Clause 19(2) defines the procedure for fulfilling the requirement in the general principle. That is why we have moved an amendment to remove the definite article in clause 19(1). This is because, there would not have been a secretary, then we would put the indefinite article in clause 19(1). That is the rationale This is because we would not have a secretary. We are just saying that the Secretariat shall be headed by a secretary. That is a general principle and then in clause 19(2), states the procedure for determining that secretary --
That is wrong and clumsy. If we say that: “The Office shall have a Secretariat headed by a Secretary”, the next should be that; ‘The Secretary shall be appointed by the Special Prosecutor in consultation with the Board' Then we move to the next issue --
Mr Speaker, that is exactly so.
Yes Hon Y. Chireh.
Mr Speaker, as to what they are trying to do, I think that they are confusing several things. This could have actually been reduced to one sentence,
If we had the benefit of the draftspersons, as we say this, then they would put it quickly in a form that would be acceptable. Firstly, we want to say that we are creating the Office of a Secretary or for the Secretariat and then we want the person who should be designated -- that is correct in principle but it is not straightforward. One ought to say that, the Special Prosecutor shall designate an officer who shall be Secretary to the Secretariat and the secretary to the Board. So, that kind of phraseology. Now, I do not want us to refer to section 20. This is because, section 20 has not appointed any Secretary there. The President has appointed staff and among those staff that the Special Prosecutor would designate the person to be a Secretary. So, we do not make reference to it. The person must first be an officer of the Special Prosecutor's Office before he or she can be designated, but because we are talking right now, if we want to immediately re-phrase it, it would be difficult. But the sense should be that, the Special Prosecutor shall designate an officer to be Secretary to the Board and be in charge of the Secretariat. If the draftspersons could put it in a more elegant language.
Hon Members, may we leave this to the draftsperson to re-look at it? This is because we have got the sense of what we want to do.
That is all. So, we can leave it to the draftsperson to draft that elegantly for us.
Mr Speaker, who is this Secretary going to work under? Is it the Finance and Administration Director or the person would stand alone? This is because, I see the entire operations of this Office to be working under these four divisions with their divisional heads.
The Secretariat is going to support the Finance and Administration Director to execute the administrative work. This is because the divisional head cannot be the one heading the Secretariat because that one is higher up there.
Mr Speaker, yes.
We have the Special Prosecutor, the Deputy Special Prosecutor and the divisional heads including Finance and Adminis- tration. Then we come down to a Secretariat, that is, if you are dealing with administration; there would be a Secretariat and they would work under the divisional head.
Mr Speaker, so, in my view, the Secretariat should work under Finance and Administration.
That is so.
Good. So, it should not be equated to a divisional head.
No, he is not being equated to a divisional head.
Mr Speaker, when we go to various organisations, the secretary to the Board is more or less a Director. For instance, the legal director of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) -- [Interruption.]
I was secretary to a Board, but I was not equated to a director.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support what Hon Quaittoo is putting across. Under clause 19 (3) (a) that: “The Secretary is responsible for a) day to day administration of the Office…”
We would handle that later.
Mr Speaker, he is answerable to the Special Prosecutor, but if it falls under the Finance and Administration division, then he or she cannot be answerable to the Special
Hon Member, that would be handled. That one would just be deleted.
Mr Speaker, very well.
Hon Chairman, I so direct that the draftsperson should re-capture the sense of the House in a more elegant language. The sense is that we want to have a division headed by a divisional head. We also want to have a Secretariat in the administration headed by a Secretary. The head of that Secretariat called a Secretary, would also act as the secretary to the Board. That is the sense of the House. So, we would flag that and move to clause 20. Clause 20 -- Appointment of other staff Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 20, subclause (2), line 2, after “to” insert “the Special Prosecutor, who shall exercise the power in consultation with”
“The President may in accordance with article 195 (2) of the Constitution delegate the power of appointment in writing to the Special Prosecutor who shall exercise the power in consultation with the Board.”
Hon Members, I would put the Question. Hon Members, there is a problem with the proposed amendment. I think that the subclause which is calling on the President that if he so desires, he may delegate the power of appointment to the Board, looks preferable than to go below the Board and directly to the Special Prosecutor. That could create problems. Usually, like we have in Parliament, the Parliamentary Service Board deals with appointments and not the Clerk to Parliament. Once there is a Board or a Council, they usually handle issues of
appointments. At a Board meeting they could decide that the lower staff could be handled by the Chief Executive Officer or the Clerk to Parliament, but straight from the President to a Chief Executive would usually create some problems. So, we would have to look at that proposed amendment. Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Speaker, I do not see why they were asking the -- The provision in article 195 (2) says that the President could delegate and so the first thing that the President should do is to delegate it to the Board, and if the Board so wishes, they would know which category of people should be appointed by the Board; high level people and then the secretaries, cleaners and so on could be appointed by the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, so, once there is dele- gation, we should not be talking about the Special Prosecutor appointing these people in consultation with the Board. It is delegated so it should just be to the Board. It is from the President to the Board and they could also delegate and so long as that is correct; that they have a written direction from the President to appoint, then that should be the case. Mr Speaker, but it should not be directly to the Special Prosecutor. If the Special Prosecutor decides to appoint a particular category of people or some people that he likes -- these days some people make preferences -- it would not be good. As a bigger body, the Board should be able to say that he or she cannot do what he or she is doing.
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, we think that constitutionally, there is nothing wrong with it, but probably in practical terms, there may be some challenges. We dealt with a similar thing in the previous provisions and that did not encounter any problem. Mr Speaker, be that as it may, I believe that there is nothing --
In which Bills did we deal with such similar provision?
Mr Speaker, just this one. The point I am making is that constitutionally, there is nothing wrong with that but it appears that in practical terms, there could be challenges. Mr Speaker, so, we may drop this proposed amendment and say that “The President may in accordance with article 195 (2) of the Constitution delegate the power of appointment in writing to the Board.”
So, has the proposed amendment been with- drawn?
Hon Chairman, we still have further amendments to clause 20.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 20, subclause (3), line 2, after “Office” insert “at the request of the Special Prosecutor”.
“Other public officers may be transferred or seconded to the Office at the request of the Special Prosecutor.”
That is legitimate. Question put and amendment agreed to.
We have a proposed amendment to the same clause 20 standing in the name of Hon Rockson- Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor. Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, I crave your indulgence to move the amendment advertised on page 10 which appear as numeral xxxiv thus standing in the name of Hon Rockson-Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor.
It is granted.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 20, subclause (4), line 1, delete “advisers and investigators” and insert “relevant professional experts”. Mr Speaker, this is in tandem with the recent Bills that we have passed in moving away and ensuring that we empower Boards to employ or seek the expertise of people with relevant professional expertise.
Now, what does the word “engage” mean? Is it to employ or to seek advice or service? Are we trying to say the office might seek the services of or employ the services of these professionals? So, let us consider the word “engage”. It could mean “employ”, thus contract like a permanent employment or just seek services. Which one do we prefer, Advice? Then, it could read: “(4) The Office may seek the services of relevant professional experts.”
Mr Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. And the point of order is; the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice whispered to you, and you agreed.
I did not hear you. You said what? [Laughter.]
I said she has the right to speak on this Bill and make her views known to guide us, and not to whisper to the Hon Speaker. That is my point of order.
I did not hear the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice whispering. Was she whispering to you?
Mr Speaker, the two of you were communicating without her using the microphone. [Interruption.] I heard her say that “advise, engage, et cetera”. Mr Speaker, I believe the larger issue you raised was that, in the traditional way, we formulate this, so that they could engage. Engage means for specific occasions, to advise people who do not want consultants because they charge more. So, it is relevant professional advice. But it is not to ‘employ'.
Mr Speaker, the terminology is a little confusing. This is because once we mention what the person is to do, as an adviser, the person could only advise, but if it is a permanent office he is occupying, he must be appointed appropriately. So, this one should mean engaging somebody for a limited service.
In other words, there should be some contractual relations. So, the preferred word should be “engage”. Hon Members, the proposed admend- ment is that: clause 20, subclause (4) should read: “(4) The Office may engage the services of relevant professional experts on the recommendation of the Board.” Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I wonder whether “profes- sionals” and “experts” would not make it superfluous so that we could have “relevant professionals”.
Hon Member, are you Hon Kwaku Kwarteng? And so, you are not at your proper place.
Mr Speaker, it is rightly so.
That is what is appearing here. So, let me get your name.
Mr Speaker, humbly, I am Bright Wireko-Brobby, Member of Parliament (MP) for Hemang Lower Denkyira.
Thank you, Hon Member. But are we equating professionals to experts? Well, we are looking for professional experts and not just professionals.
Mr Speaker, it is exactly so. If a person is a first year lawyer at the Bar, he is a professional lawyer, but is he an expert? If a person has just been issued a certificate in Geo spatial technology, is he an expert? If a person is a first year medical doctor who finished his housemanship, is he an expert? So, we are saying the person must have that professional qualification and also be an expert. That is why we combined the two.
I believe it is clear now. So, I would put the Question. The Question is that clause 20, subclause (4), be amended as follows: “(4) The Office may engage the services of relevant professional experts on the recommendation of the Board.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
We still have another proposed amendment standing in the name of the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, in view of the preceding proposed amendment, which we have just moved and carried through, my proposed amendment becomes automatically otiose. So, I would respectfully withdraw.
It has automatically reduced to what?
Mr Speaker, it becomes otiose. I am learning from you, and so -- [Laughter.]
Hon Members, the Hon Chairman is withdrawing his amendment. Clause 20 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 21-- Funds of the Office
Hon Chairman, clause 21, we have proposed amendment in the name of Hon Rockson- Nelson Defeamekpor -- [Interruptions.] Yes, Hon Members, what is the problem? 7. 55 p. m.
Mr Speaker, when we were about to suspend Sitting, I made a request that, the winnowing team ended at clause 20 and I did promise that when we complete clause 20, we would just adjourn, I would want to stand by that. Mr Speaker, with your permission, we could adjourn to tomorrow in the forenoon.
Yes, Hon Inusah Fuseini?
Mr Speaker, the winnowing team actually ended at clause 21, but I see where the Hon Member is coming from. I thought that we could work till clause 21, so that we could continue tomorrow with the winnowing. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is a man of his word, and he is trying to redeem his promise to Hon Members of the House. So, in that event, we are in your hands. If you decide that we should not do clause 21 now, then --
Hon Members, the Bill was referred to a Committee, and so, we are not aware of any “winnowing team”. So, if the Committee is not ready to proceed any further today, definitely the House would abide by that, but we should not introduce a foreign terminology into our Parliamentary lexicon. We do not know of any “winnowing team”. It is not visible.
Mr Speaker, I believe you have gone very technical this evening, and I believe it is the proper time to adjourn. Mr Speaker, when we saw a lot of amendments and realised that some of them were repetitive, most of the amendments having been advertised needed to be synchronised. Mr Speaker, you directed that the Committee should try to do the reconciliation. The Committee set up a group to do that, and we invited all those who had filed amendments to the Bill to appear before the Committee to justify, or help explain the rationale behind their amendments. That is what I have inappropriately termed as the “winnowing team”, but I learnt it from you when you were the Hon Chairman for the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
Hon Member, that is an informal process. It has not been formally recognised by our rules or Standing Orders and that is why I was referring you to that.
Well, you have announced your presence — [Laughter.] Hon Members that brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage for today. The House now stands adjourned till tomorrow 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
The House was adjourned at 8.00 p.m. till Friday, 3rd November, 2017 at 10.00 a.m.