Debates of 03 October 2017

MR SPEAKER

PRAYERS

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

There is another Communication from the President dated 2nd October, 2017. Referred to Appointments Committee.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

12. 45 p. m.

WELCOME ADDRESS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, You are all welcome to the House once again after a long recess. I share the sentiment that the recess is just in name for you, including the Speaker. Certainly, those of you who were lucky to have gone and spent substantial time with your constituents did not have the needed rest. You were busily engaged with constituency surgeries and other important engagements in seeing to the needs and welfare of the people that you serve. A number of Committees of the House also held meetings to dispose of some business before them during the recess. The Public Accounts Committee, for instance, sat for the greater part of the recess to consider Reports from the Auditor-General. The Committee on Health, upon my directive, paid working visits to inspect the state of health facilities and working conditions of health personnel in the Northern, Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions. The Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs also held series of meetings to consider the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017. Indeed, as we have also challenged ourselves to grow our institution and respond to our ever changing world and hopefully be part of that change, we cannot ignore our international obligations, in essence, inter-parliamen- tary relations. So, while on recess, Parliament, and indeed, some of its Committees, had to pursue its international diplomacy through attending conferences, goodwill exchanges with counterpart institutions and affiliate bodies. These exchanges are useful in establishing and maintaining good relationship and making our presence felt. These activities undertaken during the just ended recess, speak volumes of the tiring labours of each one of you. But be that as it may, it is all about the call to national duty and our resolve to stand equal to the task. I thank the Almighty God for bringing you safely back to the House to continue with the work for the Third Meeting. I hope and pray that, the House will be graciously bestowed the divine wisdom necessary for the work ahead. Hon Members, this Meeting being the last of the First Session, promises to be a busy one. Aside the laws expected to be enacted, the House will also consider the national Budget and the related draft Estimates of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). As representatives of the people of Ghana, you are the ones charged with the responsibility to work above and see through the wellbeing of the people; and you can only make Ghana proud if you all attend to your duties with a strong sense of urgency and responsibility. I appeal to the Hon Ministers who have been scheduled to appear before the House to answer Questions or do business in the House to be mindful of their obligations and adhere to them timeously. The House has over the years encountered difficulties during Budget sessions that mostly relate to late submission of draft Budget Estimates of MDAs to the House and its Committees. This challenge affects effective consideration of the Budget Estimates at the Committee level and also piles huge pressure at Plenary. It is my hope that, the Ministry of Finance will ensure timely certification or approval of the draft Ministries, Departments and Agencies Budget Estimates of all MDAs and submit same to the House this Meeting as quickly as possible. Committees of the House are also reminded to make their Reports on all outstanding referrals ready for submission as the House will not accept any excuses for delay. Hon Members, it may be of interest to share some highlights on a Report of the publication on public perception of Members of Parliament conducted between November and December, 2015, by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). Key highlights of the Report, indicate that a third (33.8%) of the respondents considered Members of Parliament (MPs) performance to be poor. The perception of poor performance was higher in the Western Region (44%), followed by Northern (43.3%), Greater Accra (38.3%), Upper West (36.9%) and Ashanti (34%) Regions. Further, the survey findings suggested that, ex- gratia payments to MPs continue to be a controversial issue. It is worth pointing out that, respondents were not totally against its payment, as opinion was split between those in favour (43.4%) and those against (45.9%). However, about (61.4%) of the respondents indicated that the amount of ex-gratia paid to MPs is excessive. The Report also revealed that Ghanaians have misconstrued the primary role of MPs. This is because 70% of the respondents were of the view that the MPs role is either to undertake development projects (43.1%) or assist their constituents (31.7%). On MPs educational qualifications, an overwhelming majority of the respondents (80%) thought that the minimum educational qualification for MPs should be a tertiary education. On the question whether respondents know their MPs, about 77% of respondents claimed to know their MPs. The highest proportion of respondents who said they did not know their MPs came from the Greater Accra Region (37.3%). This was followed by Ashanti Region (30.5%), Brong Ahafo Region (29.1%) and Central Region (28.3%). On the contrary, about 90 per cent of the respondents in the Upper East Region said they knew their MPs. Despite the majority of respondents indicating that they knew their MPs, over 80% of them had never contacted them. Almost half (47.4%) said they had contacted their MPs to discuss development projects in their consti- tuencies, while 24.4 per cent contacted their MPs to seek financial assistance, with less than 10% contacting to discuss Bills under consideration in Parliament or enacted legislation. Hon Members, some of these views could have been exaggerated or misrepresented. But they tell us that we should work hard to bridge the gap between the MPs and the people they represent. Leadership and I are ready and willing to assist the House to have a seamless Meeting. I am therefore of the highest expectation and have no doubt at all that you are all ready for the work ahead and as ever, willing to go the extra mile in your endeavours to ensure that we have a very successful Meeting.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings dated Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017. Page 1—8

Speaker
Mr Kwasi Etu-Bonde

Mr Speaker, I was present in the House but on page 8, number 12, my name has been marked absent in the Votes and Proceedings. If it could be corrected. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Page 9…27.

Speaker
Mr Samuel O. Ablakwa

Mr Speaker, on page 26, the last paragraph states: “He commended the the Rt. Hon Speaker.” The word “the” is repeated and one must be deleted. On page 27, the last paragraph, it should read, “He declared the House adjourned sine die” and not “adjourning sine die.” I am grateful, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Page 28…30. The Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017, as corrected are hereby adopted.

[No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, 27th July, 2017.]

[No correction was made to the Official Report of Monday, 31st July, 2017.]

[No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 1st August, 2017.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Finally, the Official Report of Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017. Any corrections?

Speaker
Mr Ablakwa

Mr Speaker, column 2997, the fifth paragraph, it should read “I realised that”, instead of “I realises”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you.

Speaker
Dr Clement A. Apaak

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I want to make reference to column 2942, the fifth paragraph, where my comments are captured. It should read: “about axle load” and not “axle road”. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Any further corrections, just in case? Hon Members, the Official Report of Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017, as corrected is hereby adopted.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, any indication?

Speaker
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I believe the time is due for us to present the Business Statement for the week. But before I do that, with your indulgence, I would want to seek leave of Standing Order 53(2) for us to vary the order of Business for the day and have item numbered 5 on the Order Paper to be transacted before I do the presentation of the Business Statement.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, if there is no difficulty -- Yes, Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, as I said, I wanted us to have the Business listed as item numbered 5 transacted, but I notice that there is a challenge and the challenge is that we should know what Business we would transact before I appeal to you to vary the order of Business. I have not done so yet, so, if I may, I would want to proceed as originally set out on the Order Paper by presenting the Business Statement for the Week.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, I called upon the Hon Minority Leader for a good reason. Maybe, simply, to expedite an item that we had all spoken about, then we might not stick to formulas and we may proceed just to lay that one and come back to the Business Statement and proceed with the rest.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, we are masters of our own procedure and ably guided by you -- as you so wish. Ideally, I should believe that the Business Statement should precede so that we approve it. But capturing your sense at pre-Sitting, this House would give the establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) the needed support so that today, it could be ratified as soon as practicable by the Hon Minister and the Committee. There being no objection, as you would so please, and would want it laid, we are masters and interpreters of the rules -- but if the Hon Majority Leader would want to go further and present the Business Statement, so that he shares with us what the Business would be, we are all ready. But, Mr Speaker, be assured that the particular Agreement would be given the necessary parliamentary consideration. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, in effect, we would proceed with item numbered 5 (a) only, then you would present the Business Statement. Hon Members, I would hereby vary the order of Business and move on to item numbered 5 (a) on the Order Paper.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

rose

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, if it pleases you and the Hon Minister for Energy, for the record, it should read: “Parliamentary Memorandum”. I have seen in the copy you generously shared with me that it still referred to “Cabinet”. The understanding for the Table Office is, “Parliamentary Memorandum” for ratification.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, that is duly taken. The Committee on Mines and Energy is scheduled to meet on the sixth floor, west wing of the Job 600 Office Complex and so, Hon Members of the Committee may be well excused at this moment. All the relevant Hon Members of the Committee should please proceed and deliberate over and report to the House. Hon Members, we would move back to item numbered 3 on the Order Paper -- Business Statement for the First Week. Chairman of the Business Committee; Hon Majority Leader?

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Speaker
Majority Leader/ Chairman of the Business Committee (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu)

Mr Speaker, the Committee met today, Tuesday, 3rd October 2017, and arranged Business of the House for the First Week ending Friday, 6th October 2017. Reason for early reconvening of the House Mr Speaker, as Hon Members may already be aware, the Third Meeting of a Session is ordinarily dedicated to the consideration and approval of the Budget and Economic Policy of Government, Estimates of Ministries, Departments and Agencies leading to the passage of the Appropriation Bill. It may also be recalled that a number of Bills were referred to committees before the close of the Second Meeting. Some of these Bills require the putting in place of physical and administrative structures, most of which have implications on the Budget for the 2018 financial year; e.g. the Zongo Development Fund Bill, the Northern, Middle Belt and Coastal Belt Development Authority Bills. There is therefore the need to pass these pieces of legislations for provision to be made in the 2018 Budget for implementation. Mr Speaker, Government has also given indication of some urgent matters connected with funding sources which require Parliamentary approval. These include in particular, the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which is time bound. The reconvening of Parliament today is therefore appropriate as it affords the House time and space to urgently consider these urgent parliamentary businesses. Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report on Business for the First Week of the Third Meeting as follows: Arrangement of Business Formal Communications by the Speaker Mr Speaker, you may read communica- tions to the House whenever they are available. (b) Question(s) Mr Speaker, the Business Committee has programmed the following Ministers to respond to Urgent Questions asked of them during the week: No. of Question(s) i. Minister for Youth and Sports -- 1 ii. Minister for Health -- 1 iii. Minister for the Interior -- 1 iv. Minister for Agriculture -- 1 v. Minister for Lands and Natural Resources -- 1 Total number of Questions -- 5 Mr Speaker, five (5) Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to one Urgent Question each. Statements Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 70(2) of our Standing Orders, Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. Statements duly admitted by Mr Speaker may be made in the House by Hon Members, in accordance with Standing Order 72. Bills, Papers and Reports Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House. Motions and Resolutions Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week. Mr Speaker, the Business Committee welcomes all Hon Members back from the recess, albeit cut short. The Third Meeting, also being the Budget meeting, is expected to be demanding of all Hon Members. It is therefore hoped that Members have returned invigorated for the business ahead of us. Conclusion Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week under considera- tion. Statements --

Speaker
Majority Leader/ Chairman of the Business Committee (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu)

Presentation of Papers -- (a) Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). (b) Request for waiver of Import Duties, Import VAT, EXIM Levy, ECOWAS Levy, and other approved imposts including VAT, amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of ninety-two million, four hundred and six thousand, two hundred and twenty-six United States dollars and eighty-eight cents ($92, 406,226.88) on the direct EPC cost in respect of the 400MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant in Tema by Early Power Limited. (c) Semi-Annual Report of the Bank of Ghana on the Petroleum Holding Funds and the Ghana Petroleum Funds for the period January 1 - June 30, 2017. (d) Annual Report of the National Road Safety Commission for the year 2015. (e) Annual Report of the Ghana Road Fund for the year 2014. (f) Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana (Consolidated Fund) for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2016. (g) Report of the Auditor-General on the Management and Utilisation of District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF) and Other Statutory Funds for the year ended 31st December, 2016. Motions -- Committee sittings. Urgent Question

Speaker
Mr Benson Tongo Baba (Talensi)

To ask the Minister for Youth and Sports whether the Ghanaian contingent to the Commonwealth Youth Games arrived in the Bahamas on the scheduled date and time for the commencement of the games. Statements -- Presentation of Papers -- (a) Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). (b) Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (2013). (c) Report of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises on the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017. (d) Report of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises on the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017. (e) Report of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises on the Coastal Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017. Motions -- (a) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Consequential Resolution (b) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Regulation C/REG 22/11/10 Establishing Community Proce- dures for Management of Veterinary Drugs or Biologics. (c) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Directive C/DIR.1/11/10 on ECOWAS Veterinary Pharmacy on Quality Control. Committee sittings. Urgent Question

Speaker
Dr Augustine Tawiah (Bia West)

To ask the Minister for Health whether the Ministry has esta- blished admission quotas for Nursing and Midwifery Training Institutions for the 2017 admission period. Statements -- Presentation of Papers-- (a) Prescription of Ground Rent Payable by Mineral Right Holders Regulations, 2017. (b) Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for waiver of Import Duties, Import VAT, EXIM Levy, ECOWAS Levy, and other approved imposts including VAT, amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of ninety- two million, four hundred and six thousand, two hundred and twenty-six United States dollars and eighty-eight cents ($92, 406,226.88) on the direct EPC cost in respect of the 400MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant in Tema by Early Power Limited. (b) Report of the joint Committee on Local Government and Rural Development and Finance on the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017. (c) Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017. Motions -- (a) That this Honourable House constitutes an Ad Hoc Com- mittee composed of the following Hon Members to recommend to Parliament the appointment of an Auditor to audit the accounts of the Office of the Auditor-General: (a)……… (b)…………. (c)………. (b) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Defence and Interior on the Fulani herdsmen menace in the country.

Speaker
Dr Augustine Tawiah (Bia West)

(c) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Defence and Interior on the use of live ammunitions by the Police in the Dalon Community to control irate youth in 2016 during which Ganiu Abdul Rahman was hit in the leg by a stray bullet. Committee sittings. Urgent Questions -- (a) Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo (Manso Adubia): To ask the Minister for the Interior what the Ministry is doing to curb the highway robberies in the Manso Adubia Constituency. (b) Mr James Agalga (Builsa North): To ask the Minister for Agriculture whether there are plans to reconstruct the Kasa Small Scale Irrrigation Dam located in Seniensi, in the Builsa North Constituency, which collapsed in 2016 due to torrential rains. (c) Mr Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu): To ask the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources whether the Ministry would institute an independent public inquiry into the Prestea-Nsuta Mining disaster. Statements -- Presentation of Papers-- (a) Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of District Assem- blies for the financial year ended 31st December, 2016. (b) Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana (Public Boards, Corporations and other Statutory Institutions) for the year ended 31st December, 2016. (c) Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana (Ministries, Departments and other Agencies of the Central Government) for the year ended 31st December, 2016. Motions-- (a) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for waiver of Import Duties, Import VAT, EXIM Levy, ECOWAS Levy, and other approved imposts including VAT, amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of ninety-two million, four hundred and six thousand, two hundred and twenty-six United States dollars and eighty-eight cents ($92, 406,226.88) on the direct EPC cost in respect of the 400MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant in Tema by Early Power Limited. Consequential Resolution (b) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (2013). Consequential Resolution Committee sittings.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader. Hon Members, any observations?

Speaker
Mr Ablakwa

Mr Speaker, I am most grateful. Mr Speaker, I commend the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee for presenting the Business Statement for the First Week ending Friday, 6th October, 2017. Mr Speaker, I took note during the presentation of the Hon Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. He added the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill as one of the reasons for the early recall. That must be considered an addition because, it is not in the Business Statement as presented to us. We only have the Zongo Development Fund Bill, the Northern Middle Belt and Coastal Belt Development Authority Bills. We do not have the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill. So, I do hope that it is really the case, and it was considered by the Business Committee. Perhaps, that was an omission when the Report was put together. I hope that our records would reconcile this development; what is not stated in the Report and what has been added by the Hon Majority Leader. Mr Speaker, finally, I would want to find out from the Hon Majority Leader if there is any indication when the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy of Government would be presented. There is no indication in the Business Statement. Do we have an idea at this point when it would be presented to this House, so that Hon Members can prepare accordingly?

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I am an Hon Member of the Business Committee, and I take guidance from you and your Leadership that, the House has been recalled. I believe Hon Members are up to the task and ready to work. In reading the Business Statement, the Hon Majority Leader has invited me to make this comment. He said that when the House was adjourning, we agreed to recommence on 3rd October, 2017. Mr Speaker, that is not the case; that cannot be the case. Adjournment does not lie in his bosom, it is vested in Mr Speaker's bosom. So, why would he say that? Mr Speaker, when we were adjourning- - to quote you, so that he learns the law from you -- “sine die” means without date. It is without a designated date. So, he does not need to justify it. Parliament, at all instances, in the national interest and in pursuit of the national exigencies and emergencies, can convene for Business. He must not determine for us that, it was a decision of the House. No, Mr Speaker, that is incongruous with your own conclusion. After your brilliant Closing Remarks, you said, “the House is accordingly adjourned sine die”; without date and not 3rd October, 2017. Mr Speaker, broader consultation under your Leadership, particularly between the caucus, is important to broaden the Business of this House. Let him be assured we would assist Government to execute its Business in accordance with the laws of Ghana and the Standing Orders of Parliament. So, it is not for him to determine for us -- [Interruption.] [Uproar.]

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, first, on the issue raised by the Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa, he said that, in the third paragraph of the introduction, I added the “Office of the Special Prosecutor”. Indeed, on the fourth line of the third paragraph, we would see, “for example”. The operative words there are, “for example”. The list then is not exhaustive. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, we all do know -- I was flashed back to let us know that this was considered and indeed referred. Indeed, at the Business Committee, we had spoken to this. So, when it did not appear, I thought that, for the avoidance of doubt, I should state it for the records. But as I said, what the operative words, “for example”, mean is that the list cannot be exhaustive. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member also asked whether I could give any indication about when the Budget Statement might be presented to the House. Yes, indeed, I can; and I would tell him that it will be presented on either the 8th of November, 2017 or, worst case scenario, 15 th of November, 2017. It would depend on how early we are able to transact Business on the referrals; in particular, the Zongo Development Fund Bill, the Northern Development Authority Bill, the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill and the Coastal Development Authority Bill, plus, for emphasis, the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill. If we are able to finish with them, it would pave way for them to be factored into the Budget Statement and then it will be introduced. So, that is it. Mr Speaker, I believe in your anteroom, we spoke about who had the respon- sibility to summon Parliament. I have never assumed that responsibility, except that, I have been accused of running Parliament as a blue kiosk -- [Laughter] -- and that even when I want to visit the washroom, I lock the door and put the key under my armpit. That certainly cannot be true, and I alluded to that at the pre-Sitting meeting. In fact, Mr Speaker, on the last day, at the pre-Sitting meeting, we dialogued on the reopening day; the date for reconvening. So, in my own Closing Remarks, I alluded to that. [Interruption.] My Hon Colleague is saying no, but I alluded to that. For the avoidance of doubt, here is the Official Report of August 2, 2017, column 3179, I beg to quote: “Parliament would be recalled early enough to consider these relevant Bills before the presentation of the Budget.” I said: “In all likelihood, the reconvening date may not be later than 3 rd October, 2017.” The word, ‘likelihood' has been construed to be, ‘likehood'. The word is ‘likelihood'. So, that information was given to me and I never said that Parliament was going to be summoned. This is because, as rightly posited by the Hon Minority Leader, that authority does not lie with me. So, I chose my words carefully. I said, “In all likelihood, the date for reconvening may not be later than 3rd October, 2017”. I knew what I was talking about. I have never attempted to usurp the authority of the Rt Hon Speaker. So, Mr Speaker, when the House was adjourned sine die -- the Hon Minority Leader had repeated what I just said in your anteroom. Sine die is a Latin expression which means without a date. In this instance, in your own anteroom, we had come to that determination that Parliament was going to reconvene on the 3rd of October, 2017. So, technically, we knew when Parliament would resume. So, technically, it was not sine die. Mr Speaker, the reason we give ourselves two weeks' notice is that, we adjourn sine die, and because we do not know when the Hon Speaker makes the determination, two weeks before the time, this House must be informed appro- priately. Except that on this occasion, we knew when Parliament would resume. So, technically, it was not even sine die. [Interruption.] -- I said “technically”; if he listened to me well, and it is not a matter of laughter. [Laughter.] So, Mr Speaker, that was the point at which we left this House. In any event, as I keep saying, Hon Members of Parliament are like the members of the Armed Forces. We stand ready to operate, in rain, in sunshine, in daylight and in darkness. This is why Standing Order 32(2) provides that, and I beg to quote: “Not later than fourteen days before the commencement of a Meeting the Clerk shall give written notice of the Meeting to each Member, except when Parliament is adjourned to a specified date which is not more than fourteen days from the date of such adjournment, or in cases of emergency in which case the Clerk shall give notification by such means as the urgency of the matter requires.” Mr Speaker, I told our Hon Colleagues that in the pre-Sitting meeting -- I wonder why this should be resurrected here. Mr Speaker, about 10 days ago, the President summoned just what we are doing today. He requested whether it would be possible for Parliament to be recalled to deal with just that matter, which is indeed an emergency. I said to him that, because it was in our programme to be back on 3rd October, 2017 -- to transact just one Business, go back and come back within one week would be at a huge expense to the State. So, we could wait comfortably and transact this Business today; the 3rd of October, 2017. That is why the referral has been made. Indeed, before we could even come to it, we made an application supported by the Hon Minority Leader himself that, we varied the order of Business for the day to enable the Committee deal with the matter. Mr Speaker, we recognise the emergency contained in this Business that, the Committee is going to transact for and on behalf of the House. If they make the determination that it is urgent, we may even have to suspend Sitting, deal with it and close the chapter. Mr Speaker, so, nothing untoward has been done. I would want to assure you that nothing untoward has been done. I agree with my Hon Colleague that we should be very consensual, going forward, to involve Leadership in the determination of when Parliament would resume. I entirely agree with him, except to say that for eight years, I was never consulted. That does not mean that we cannot improve our circumstances. [Uproar] -- It does not mean that at all.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I would endeavour to be very brief so that we make progress. Change has come -- [Laughter] -- and that change comes with responsibility. Mr Speaker, the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017 cannot be re-written by the Hon Majority Leader. Indeed, on page 28, it reads, and I beg to quote; “And it being five minutes before eleven o'clock in the evening the House was adjourned sine die”. Mr Speaker, fact; irreversible fact. So, the Hon Majority Leader should just accommodate that this one was adjourned sine die. As for his semantics with language and dates, it cannot change Mr Speaker's ruling and our records. I also do agree, and that is why I emphasise, that going forward, we should endeavour to work together to improve upon the workings of this House. It is only appropriate -- there are greater expectations, and Hon Members of Parliament are only saying that give them sufficient notice. They would appreciate it if the notice is adequate and not just sufficient “ the adequacy of the notice.” Mr Speaker, so, we are here to work, but in responding to the Hon Okudjeto Ablakwa about the Special Prosecutor, I know that he brought it up at the Business Statement meeting. It is a very important Bill, legislation to combat corruption, and we know the commitment of Government to it. What the people of Ghana want is a good law and not a law in a rush. So, best practice -- We know and he has served notice that the Committee wants to visit, maybe Canada or the United States of America (USA) to learn; we know the Nixon experience with the Special Prosecutor, and we must let them go and learn. Mr Speaker, in Asia, they can go to Singapore as he said. We would share those best practices. So, not a legislation in a rush, but a better legislation that would stand the test of time. It must not be what happened in the USA under Nixon, where he himself ran to get somebody to resign when he was unhappy with it. We do not want a legislation in a rush, we want an improved legislation. We should give the Special Prosecutor Bill the appropriate attention, and he must support the Committee on Constitution, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. It should not be Civil Society groups supporting it and then tomorrow, we would hear that Hon Members of Parliament have been compromised. Let this House take responsibility to adequately resource its Committees, and we must hold the Ministry of Finance responsible to it. Civil Society groups must not supervise it, and turn to say that Hon Members of Parliament collected envelopes. Mr Speaker, with this -- the Hon Majority Leader finds it difficult to accommodate defeat. This is not a Suame by-election or an election in Suame. This defeat, he must accommodate it today; we adjourned sine die and not to the 3rd of October, 2017. We have come back and we would work with him. He should bring Business. Mr Speaker, we have seen the list for the Zongo Development Fund and we would want to see progress on it, not just hints. We are not looking forward to a Parliament where we come for prayers, and then afterwards, it is Statements and adjournments; real and actual Business. We would support them to execute Government Business. Their first year is almost gone, and we would follow them through to the next three years.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I do not intend to continue any litigation with the Hon Minority Leader, except to say that -- what he quoted, the “adjournment sine die”, he said, it was on page 28. Mr Speaker, page 28 has a very bad history in this country. Indeed, it is page 27 and not 28. If he wanted to read correctly, he misread what was there. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I have mine on page 27. So, that is where I am quoting from. Indeed, what is there is not even “adjourned sine die”. It says, “adjourning sine die” -- [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, more importantly, since he makes a very good issue about supporting the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Parliament is resourcing them to do their work. When they went to Koforidua, I joined them and even asked them to extend that meeting by one more day. Even with that, they could not finish; they are saying that they have about two or three pages to conclude. The two or three pages relate to the interpretation section, and I believe that if they make space and time for themselves here in Parliament, they would be able to conclude whatever is outstanding, and we would assist -- Parliament, lest the Hon Minority Leader turns around to say that I am substituting myself for Parliament. I said that we would assist, and I am talking about Parliament as an institution; we would assist them to finish with their business. The rest of what chorus he was singing, I would not respond to. My voice is not good enough for the day.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Leaders. In order that the Hon Leaders would not lead us into any temptation after leaving this place, sine die or not, I would want us to be properly guided. Of course, we stand by our rules, particularly, those relating to Part Five; “Summoning and Dissolution of Parliament”. Whether some 15 per cent of Hon Members would want to recall Parliament, they may do so and notices may be given for two weeks as all of us have always known -- and we may do so. We must, nevertheless, not ever read any part of these Orders without a holistic appreciation. I shared with the Hon Leaders this morning, for which matter we actually exhausted this apparent difficulty, but which has come up again by way of making a few things clear; the clarity of which we must find without any difficulty

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance was here to do this job, but unfortunately, he has been summoned to appear before the Finance Committee which is meeting now. In that regard, I would want to apply to lay the document on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much. You may do so.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (c) on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, before I lay these documents, I believe that for the avoidance of doubt, I must re- state this position that I have always espoused. I am doing so as the Hon Majority Leader and not as the Hon Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. These are independent authorities and bodies that would have to respond directly to the people's representatives. Mr Speaker, so, I lay the Papers as the Hon Majority Leader and not as the Hon Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. Mr Speaker, with that understanding, I would attend to item numbered 5 (c) (i).

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much. You may formally do so. By the Majority Leader (i) Semi-Annual Report of the Bank of Ghana on the Petroleum Holding Funds and the Ghana Petroleum Funds for the period January 1 -- June 30, 2017. Referred to the Finance Committee.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (c) (ii) on the Order Paper. By the Majority Leader (ii) Annual Report of the National Road Safety Commission for the year 2015. Referred to the Committee on Roads and Transport.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (c) (iii) on the Order Paper. By the Majority Leader (iii) Annual Report of the Ghana Road Fund for the year 2014. Referred to the Committee on Roads and Transport.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (c) (iv) on the Order Paper. By the Majority Leader (iv) Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana (Consolidated Fund) for the financial year ended 31st December, 2016. Referred to the Public Accounts Committee

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 5 (c) (v) on the Order Paper. By the Majority Leader (v) Report of the Auditor-General on the Management and Utilisation of District Assemblies' Common

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Fund (DACF) and Other Statutory Funds for the year ended 31st December, 2016. Referred to the Public Accounts Committee

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, any indication at this stage for our progress further?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, you just referred the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to the Committee responsible for Energy. We cannot sit here and do nothing, so, I would urge that we take a suspension for two hours and await the Committee's Report and close the chapter. If they report to us that it is a matter of urgent nature, and submit their Report as such, we would conclude it. If they determine to us that it is not urgent, then the usual process would be triggered. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much. Hon Minority Leader, what is your inclination?

Speaker
Mr H. Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I believe that your Committee itself would be guided by your body language and your message on the urgency of this matter and we would proceed likewise. Just for the Table Office -- on the other matter relating to the Marrakesh Treaty, I have seen that they have captured it for tomorrow, but there is no Motion relative to that. It is important that as we do this, we also do that to serve that population of blind persons who are concerned about that Treaty. So, Mr Speaker, we should think that this matter is urgent and it would be treated as such. Therefore, we could suspend for two hours and come back and get it ratified by the Parliament of Ghana.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader. Table Office, take that point accordingly and be guided thereby. Two hours would take us to 4.00 oclock. 1.57 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 5.15 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, Order Paper Addendum -- At the commence- ment of Public Business, item numbered 1 -- Presentation of Papers. Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Energy?

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 2 on the Order Paper Addendum, Hon Majority Leader. We shall move to item numbered 2 on the Order Paper Addendum -- Motion. Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, if I may crave your indulgence that you hold on a bit while they go through the Motions.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Is it the Procedural Motion? Hon Majority Leader, I did not get you well. The Paper is duly presented and it is for distribution. Hon Chairman of the Committee, if you may please move the Procedural Motion first.

MOTIONS

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi)

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 Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Framework Agreement on the Establish- ment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) may be moved today.

Speaker
Mr Mutawakilu Adam (NDC-- Damongo)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, move on to the Substantive Motion. Item numbered 3 on the Order Paper Addendum. Ratification of the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, That this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Introduction The Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was laid in Parliament on Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017, by the Hon Minister for Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko. The Rt Hon Speaker subsequently referred the Framework Agreement to the Committee on Mines and Energy for consideration and report, pursuant to article 75 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 188 of the Standing Orders of Parliament. Deliberations The Committee met on 3rd October, 2017, with officials of the Ministry of Energy and considered the Framework Agreement. In attendance at the meeting were the Minister for Energy, Hon Boakye Agyarko and his Deputy, Hon Joseph Cudjoe. The Committee is grateful to the Minister and his Deputy for their inputs and clarifications Reference The Committee was guided by the following documents: i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana; and

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi)

ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament. Background information The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a treaty-based international inter- governmental organisation of countries located between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn to address their special energy needs through efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The Alliance was launched on 30th November, 2015 and has so far been signed by thirty-one (31) countries. Ghana signed the Framework Agreement on 22nd May, 2017. The overarching objective of the establishment of the ISA is to create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security and sustainable development as well as improve access to energy. Fifteen (15) countries are expected to ratify the Framework Agreement for it to come into force. The first fifteen (15) countries who ratify the Framework a l s o become the founding members. The ISA is meant to reinforce efforts of other organisations such as t h e International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA) and Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), by establishing network and develop synergies with those organisations and supplement their e ffor ts in a sustainable and coordinated manner. Rationale for the ratification of the ISA The overall goal for accepting to join the Alliance is to enable the Government leverage on the opportunities offered by the Alliance to accelerate Ghana's quest to increasing its renewable energy mix including solar from the current 1 per cent to ten per cent (10%) by 2030. Financial commitment The Committee was informed that Ghana's membership to the Alliance will not bring any financial burden to the country. Observations The Committee noted that, fifteen Member countries who first ratified the Framework become the founding members. So far, six countries including, India, France, Fiji, Mauritius, Nauru and Comoros have ratified the Framework Agreement. It was observed that among the benefits for becoming a founding member are access to US$10 billion Renewable Energy Credit Facility from India, of which US$2 billion is for African countries, technology transfer, high quality training and research from the India Centre of Excellence in Renewable Energy, and access to equipment for demonstration projects at no cost. Other benefits due Ghana include potential to attracting significant investments to the solar energy space in Ghana. This will improve access to the productive use of energy, leading to job creation, increase in the application of solar in other critical sectors of the economy such as water purification systems, solar powered irrigation for agriculture and health care. Additional advantage to be derived would include increase in access to off- grid solar solutions to remote communities that can never have access to the national grid. Conclusion and recommendation The Committee has thoroughly examined the Framework Agreement and is of the view that, the ratification by Parliament would enable Ghana benefit from all the opportunities associated with it as outlined above. The Committee accordingly recommends to the House to ratify the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in accordance with article 75 of the 1992 Constitution. Respectfully submitted.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, do you want to second the Motion? I saw you in motion.

Speaker
Mr H. Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee, Hon Mutawakilu Adam, would second the Motion.

Speaker
Mr Mutawakilu Adam (NDC-- Damongo)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. In doing so, I would like to highlight two points. One of the points is on financial commitment. The Hon Minister made it clear to us that there is no financial commitment by Ghana in respect to this Agreement. It means there would not be membership fees and any other commitment. We think that would be to the benefit of Ghana. Mr Speaker, he also made it clear that apart from the funding that we could easily access or could be used as a guarantee to enable us have solar energy, there are other benefits that go along with belonging to this Alliance. One is access to Indian technology. We know that India is one of the top countries when it comes to renewable energy and for that matter solar energy. Therefore belonging to the Alliance would go a long way to benefit us, not only in having access to the Fund, but also acquiring the necessary technology that is needed to be able to implement it and ensure that, Ghana becomes a hub in West Africa. Mr Speaker, this is why they would be providing training to Ghanaians for six months. When we go through the Framework Agreement, they would be providing training to Ghanaians for six months. And this would go a long way to benefit Ghana. Mr Speaker, on this, I would commend that, this Honourable House adopt this Report and ratify the Framework Agreement in respect of ISA as contained in article 75 of the 1992 Constitution. Question proposed.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Leadership, have you come into any arrangement? Hon (Dr) Donkor?

Speaker
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East)

Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.

Speaker
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East)

Speaker
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East)

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you, Hon Donkor. Yes, Hon Duker?

Speaker
Mr George Mireku Duker (NPP -- Tarkwa/Nsuaem)

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, I would like to add my voice by also commending the Ministry of Energy in joining this country to the alliance. This ISA is an international institution of repute that mediates between governments from various countries. I would like to comment on what the Hon Minister mentioned that we will use the new technology which will ensure the minimal use of land. We will occupy much land as we see with solar energy, but we will use a technology that will cover our streams and make good use of them, and for that matter, also check the galamsey menace that we are facing in this country. So, it is in a way using a stone to kill two birds. Mr Speaker, it is also making sure that we make good use of our financial resources. As we know, we only have less than a percentage of our solar energy mix in this country. It has been projected that by 2030, we will hit around 10 per cent. Mr Speaker, on this note, I congratulate the Ministry of Energy for bringing up such a noble idea and a noble policy.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Member. Yes, Hon Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah?

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (NDC -- Ellembelle)

Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support the Ratification Framework Agreement for Ghana to join the ISA. Mr Speaker, we have been told that this alliance was spearheaded by India. I note that, so far, we have six (6) countries that have ratified this Agreement and I have also noted the advantages of Ghana joining ISA. Mr Speaker, as I was going through the advantages, Ghana would have access to funding, technology, training and capacity building. It reminded me very well of the same reasons we joined International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA). It was in this very House that I made the case for Ghana to join the IREA. I know that this is not the only association that Ghana will join in our effort to increase our renewable energy. Mr Speaker, the important point to note is that, there are advantages, but ultimately, it is our focus and effort in Ghana that will get us the desired results. I think it is important to ask where we have been and the effort we have made in making sure that we meet our policy goal of 10 per cent of our energy mix being renewable. Mr Speaker, I recall that not too long ago, our goal was 10 per cent renewable energy in 2020. With the new Government, we looked at where we are and it is understandable. We were at 1 per cent and we just added 10 more years. We said our new policy is to meet our energy needs by 2030. That is the point. It is important that we look at a lot of the things we have done and see the things that we can do differently to get us to our goal in 2030. Other than that, we will get closer to 2030 and probably add another 10 years. Mr Speaker, this is very important. I know we have passed the Renewable Energy Act. It is time to go back to it and look at the implementation, the weaknesses and the incentives. Mr Speaker, the Act -- I know we have talked about incentives for real estate developers. How has that been implemented? How has tax breaks also been implemented? These are very important, if we are to achieve our goal. We all have to support the alliance, especially, because it is led by India. I know that if we are to meet our goal of universal access, the remote off-grid communities; communities that only get electricity through off-grid solutions, I am sure we can explore through this alliance to get these communities access to electricity. I believe in doing this, we can get to our universal goal to electricity. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (NDC -- Ellembelle)

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much. Yes, Hon Freda Prempeh?

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Prempeh. Yes, Minority Leadership?

Speaker
Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu)

Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion for the ratification of the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would like to note and recognise the role of the Ghana Embassy and Mission in India. I see a letter dated 2nd June, 2017, which conveys this decision to the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs, subsequent to which the Hon Minister for Energy looked at it. Mr Speaker, however, since this is a House of records, I would like to indulge you to say that, the document as I have read it, has an opening title: “Cabinet Memorandum”, but for our purposes, it should rather be titled as “a Parliamentary Memorandum.” Mr Speaker, we should understand our governance process that the Hon Minister would have sought Cabinet's approval for Parliament to consider and ratify same. Therefore, accordingly, this should be conceived of as a Parliamentary Memorandum, subsequent to the Cabinet decision. Mr Speaker, in future, we would again, once we have reference to this Cabinet, insist that a letter signed by the Cabinet's secretary conveying this to the Rt. Hon Speaker, is appropriately respected and done accordingly. Mr Speaker, with that, I would like to just point out a few issues.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, I note that this quote

“. . . to support his goal, His Excellency the President in the 2017 State of the Nation Address noted the following…,” And there is a code. Mr Speaker, to encourage the Hon Minister, I heard somebody whisper that government is a continuum. Whether we like it or not, there was a renewable, and there is a Renewable Energy Policy, which this Government inherited. Mr Speaker, there is a Renewable Energy Act, which this Government inherited but their legacy would be that they ratified and got Ghana to join ISA, and the lake of other internationally organised Non-Governmental Organisa- tions (NGOs) such as what is referred to as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Mr Speaker, again, in Ghana we all know that we depend on three sources -- thermal, hydro and renewable. There is policy for us to increase renewable energy to at least 20 per cent of our energy mix, and largely that should concentrate on unserved areas, not the large urban cities. This is because we would use and take advantage -- it is renewable because it is sustainable and cheap, and we would be relying on sunlight, wind, rain, waves and others. Mr Speaker, many of us have travelled, particularly to Germany or Spain. As we travel, we see the extent to which they make use of sunshine in order that they can generate this. Mr Speaker, there is also a new generation of renewable energy mix, which is geo-thermal heat. We could also take advantage of that to be able to add on to that particular mix. Mr Speaker, therefore generally, there is consensus that ISA is meant to reinforce the efforts of other organisations. I have a difficulty with the word “reinforce” though we are to support other existing efforts such as those of IRENA Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, (REEEP) and Renewable Energy P:olicy Network for the 21st Centry (REN21). Mr Speaker, what is important is for the Hon Minister, subsequent to this -- We know that, if we work closely with the Ghana High Commission in India -- we see a pledge of US$10 billion out of which US$2 billion is dedicated to Africa. We say that they must work to bring a portion of the US$2 billion to Ghana to support the expansion of renewable energy resources in Ghana to complement our energy mix, so that we can move away from the reliance and dependence on the expensive thermal energy mix in the country. Mr Speaker, therefore, Parliament is called upon to do what is appropriate within the remit of article 75 of the Constitution as an international Agree- ment and accordingly, I would urge Hon Members to support it, except if the Hon Chairman is pleased to correct it. I see a paragraph that states: “The Committee noted that fifteen member countries who first ratified the Framework becomes the founding Members.” I am sure we want to say that “…the first 15 members who ratify would be …” Therefore, at the Committee level, we should be particular about many of these things.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, I note that this quote

So, generally, Mr Speaker, it is an Agreement to which the Executive has committed the country. It has the support of Parliament and I urge Hon Members to support it unanimously.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader. Does the Hon Minister intend to make a contribution?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, do you want to --

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I thought I would just make a short intervention and the Hon Minister who is shepherding the Agreement would wind up.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Who comes: your good self or the Hon Minister?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I said I would make my intervention and the Hon Minister, as the one shepherding the Agreement would then wind up.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

I thought you were conceding everything but you turned to him -- [Laughter.] Yes, you may go on. I was going to go to him anyway.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, it is just a short intervention. I would want to note that, as a matter of public record, the Alliance that we talked about was launched on 30th November, 2015. Until then, no effort had been made in Ghana with respect to this matter. Mr Speaker, there was talk about this in April 2016 in Ghana. However, the country did not sign on to the Framework Agreement. That signing on was done exactly on 22nd May, 2017. That is a matter of record. Mr Speaker, why is it necessary for us to push for this agenda? It is so because, Mr Speaker, as we all do know, solar energy, as compared to other sources of energy, is very clean; it is one of the cleanest sources of energy. It is also one of the safest sources of energy and recognisably, its use is also very sustainable and fits into the agenda of the United Nations crafted into the Sustainable Development Goals. Mr Speaker, again, solar energy, all told, eventually turns out to be one of the cheapest sources of energy. The flipside of some sources could be very catastrophic nuclear energy, Mr Speaker, we all do know what any disturbance could lead us to. Mr Speaker, even with hydro, we have seen the consequences where there is overspill of impounded water and the spill away water impounded in the Akosombo Dam. It could be disastrous. We all know the yearly occurrence of the spillage at the Bagre Dam and its effect on Ghana's economy and environment. Mr Speaker, again, where there are crystal disturbances like volcanoes or earthquakes, even water, hydro dams could be imperilled not so much for solar energy. Mr Speaker, the only known challenge for those countries down south the Sahara is that, in the event of the trade winds from the northeast, it occasions the cleaning of the solar panels. That is the challenge that is known in those countries that use these solar panels down south the Sahara. So, we may, if we have to buy into that project, factor into it, how to occasionally clean the solar panels. Mr Speaker, as we do this and bring the curtain down on this today, the hope is that, the Ministry would act with dispatch once Parliament ratifies this Agreement that the Ministry, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, act with the necessary alacrity to make the deposition of the necessary Instrument, so that we find ourselves in that elite club to be able to access the benefit of the Alliance. Mr Speaker, on that note, I would want to urge Hon Colleagues to act in unison to ratify this Agreement. I thank you very much for the opportunity.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader. Hon Minister, you may make a few comments if you so desire.

Speaker
Minister for Energy (Mr Boakye Agyarko)

Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to come before this august House to seek the ratification of the Framework Agreement on the establishment of ISA. Mr Speaker, I thank Hon Members of this House most exceedingly for the support they have shown for this document. I must first note that indeed, the Cabinet Secretary did forward an accompanying letter to cover the Memorandum, so that the omission that the Hon Minority Leader speaks of would not have occurred. If it was not circulated, then pardon the oversight. Mr Speaker, I take note of the concerns and comments that have been shared and wish to state the following that, indeed, the Renewable Energy Act is due for a major review, so that the developments that have overtaken the Act and in particular, the availability of renewable energy on the national grid through a reverse metering can be included in the Act. Mr Speaker, we live in a region of comparative resource advantage, therefore, we have to take full due of what the good Lord has given us. In so doing and in so saying, I wish to inform the House of where we are and where we intend to go with respect to our renewable energy goals and policy. It is the policy of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government, that all our hydro resources will now be turned to hybrid facilities. In that respect, Bui Dam has already started converting to a combination of solar and hydro to evacuate 250 megawatts onto the national grid. The main Akosombo Dam is expected to house a solar facility of 500 megawatts and the Kpong Dam similarly will host a facility of 100 megawatts. Indeed, Volta River Authority (VRA) is designated to be the lead on the expansion of solar facilities in the country. We also intend to make all the public tertiary institutions a combination of utilities and renewable. In that wise, a pilot programme has already started in the University of Ghana, Legon, to combine solar, waste, biomas with the utility. Therefrom, I made commitment when I first appeared in this House, that this building of Parliament would be headed for solar. In that wise, we have already

Speaker
Minister for Energy (Mr Boakye Agyarko)

Speaker
Minister for Energy (Mr Boakye Agyarko)

So would be the Flagstaff House and all the 36,000 Junior High Schools (JHS) and 681 Senior High School (SHS) facilities. [Hear! Hear!] But all of these would be promoted through the private investment space, and that is how come, Mr Speaker, joining this Alliance -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minister, proceed.

Speaker
Mr Agyarko

That is how come joining this Alliance becomes very important. Mr Speaker, given the graciousness of this House towards this Motion, I beg to move, that the item numbered 4 as Resolution on page 2 of this Order Paper Addendum be adopted --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minister, we shall come there a moment. Let us finish with this stage. We will come to that later. Just conclude for now.

Speaker
Mr Agyarko

Mr Speaker, I am sorry for not being learned in the ethics and --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minister, you would thank Hon Members and then you sit. You would know how we are going.

Speaker
Mr Agyarko

Mr Speaker, these are the advantages we seek and for that reason, I ask that we ratify the Agreement. [Hear! Hear!]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Minister and thank you very much, Hon Members. Question put and Motion agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 4 on the Order Paper Addendum, Resolution? Hon Minister for Energy, on the Order Paper, you may move the item numbered 4 that the Resolution be adopted as it is on the Order Paper.

RESOLUTION

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for the Resolution. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would say the Hon Majority Leader raised a pertinent point, but I believe that once we have the Resolution, we should remind the Hon Minister to work with the Embassy and the India Government on the concern that the Hon Majority Leader raised. If we go into the signatory and entering into force provision, it states, and Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I quote: “For members having deposited an instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval after the entering into force of Framework Agreement. This Framework Agreement shall enter into force on the 30th day after the date of deposit of the relevant Instruments.” Mr Speaker, I so remind the Hon Minister to live with the provisions of the Agreement —

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, any indication? Although I do not need a Motion to close.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, just to thank Hon Colleagues for having had the patience and the tolerance to wait for this. I think it is a testimony, as far as I am concerned, that we intend to work together during this Meeting. Mr Speaker, once again, I am most grateful, and because it is long past our closing hours, you may adjourn the House until tomorrow at 12.00 noon.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, anything for the House?

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, we are in your hands. I am sure even as we review your Standing Orders, be minded that Hon Members are getting used to the 12.00 noon. I beg to support the Hon Majority Leader. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very well, Hon Members. It has been a very useful day and we all appreciate your call to duty in totality of all the circumstances.

ADJOURNMENT

The House was adjourned at 6.00 p.m. till Wednesday, 4th October, 2017 at 12.00 noon.

CABINET MINISTERS