Debates of 07 February 2017

MR SPEAKER

PRAYERS

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, item numbered 3, Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report. Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 3rd February, 2017. Page 1, 2 --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Pages 5, 6, 7, 8 --

Speaker
Nana Akua Owusu Afriyie

Mr Speaker, I was present at the last Sitting but my name has been marked absent. If the change could be effected.

Speaker
Mr Albert A. Alalzuuga

Mr Speaker, page 8, number 5, I was in the House on the 3rd of February, 2017 but my name has been captured under the absentee list. My name is “Albert Akuka Alalzuuga”, Member of Parliament for Garu Constituency.

Speaker
Mr Albert A. Alalzuuga

Speaker
Mr Collins O. Amankwah

Mr Speaker, page 8, number 6, I was present but I have been marked absent. I am “Collins Owusu Amankwah”.

Speaker
Mr Abu-Bakar S. Boniface

Mr Speaker, I was present on Friday but I have been marked absent and would like to draw your attention to it.

Speaker
Mr Eric Osei-Owusu

Mr Speaker, on page 8, number 28, my name is “Eric Osei- Owusu”. I was present but I have been marked absent.

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

Mr Speaker, permit me to take you back to page 3, item number 80; my name is “Avedzi, James Klutse.” I was absent with permission on Friday, 3rd February, 2017 but I have been marked as present; so, that correction should be made.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Page 9…17

Speaker
Mr Eric Osei Owusu

rose

Speaker
Mr Owusu

Mr Speaker, on page 17, with the name “Prof K Frimpong Boateng,” the “Boateng” is spelt as “B-o-o-a-t-e-n- g”. I would want to believe that it is “Boateng”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, any further corrections on page 17? Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 3rd February, 2017, as corrected be hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. Hon Members, we have the Official Report of Friday, 27th January, 2017 for correction. Any corrections?

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzra

rose

Speaker
Mr Bedzrah

Mr Speaker, in the last line of paragraph 4, column 548, it should be “have oversight responsibility over Hon Ministers” and not, “. . . over the Hon Ministers”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, are there any further corrections?

Speaker
Mr Alexander Kodwo Kom Abban

rose

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Abban

Mr Speaker, on the preliminary page (i), which is the “Alphabetical list of Hon Members of Parliament (Returned at General Election, 7th December, 2017)”, I have perused through the list and unfortunately, I cannot find my name anywhere. I have already had occasions of bringing this to the floor of the House. So, if notice could be taken and the appropriate corrections made.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, the Official Report of Friday, 27th January, 2017 as corrected be hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. Hon Members, I will vary the order of Business and take item numbered 5 for convenience. At the Commencement of Public Business, item numbered 5 -- Presentation of Papers. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, the alteration of the order of Business may be done on an application by an Hon Member. You have done what you did and I believe it is predicated on the pre-Sitting discussions that we had in your office. Mr Speaker, respectfully, because that discourse is not part of the official transaction of Business, may I respectfully urge that you allow me to formally seek your leave to have the order of Business as set out in the Order Paper for today, to be altered to have us now enter the arena of Public Business and have item numbered 5 precede the other issues.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader should have been more pre-emptive in his effort in seeking your leave and guidance to vary the order of Business. But since he was busy doing other things to facilitate Government Business, he should not push his sins unto you. He ought to have made the application pursuant to Standing Order 53. Mr Speaker, be it as it may, we would take a cue from the pre-Sitting when we agreed, that it was your desire for us to conclude Business on the Fourth Report on the Appointments Committee. And I can see Hon Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh very ready to stand in the feet of the Hon Chairman of the Committee, who is currently working on some nominees who have appeared before the Committee. Mr Speaker, I have no objection and with your leave, you can vary the order of Business, so that the Hon Member could lay the Fourth Report of the Appointments Committee, so that it would be distributed to Hon Members to subsequent consideration.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I rose to make an application. The Hon Minority Leader's contribution to this discourse is to draw our attention to the fact that I was engaged in some other business. Mr Speaker, the business I have been engaging in is the Business of the House. Hon Colleague is not minded to question my conduct in the Chamber. If he is so minded, I would remind him of the relevant Standing Order which would disallow him to raise any issues about the conduct of the Hon Majority Leader in the House.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, the order of Business is varied. Hon Majority, you may advise on item number 5.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Committee is not in the Chamber. But the Hon Majority Chief Whip, who is also a member of the Committee is with us. I believe either he or the Hon Minority Leader, who is the Ranking Member of the Committee, could lay the Report on behalf of the Committee.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

So, you may lay same accordingly.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, again, may the Hon Majority Leader guide us through the process, so that the Hon Member of the Appointments Committee would bow for you to do what is appropriate, pursuant to our Standing Orders? We have no objection.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the application was to have either the Hon Minority Leader or the other Hon Member, who is the Majority Chief Whip lay the document. I believe they have agreed between themselves that it should be the Hon Majority Chief Whip. Mr Speaker, so, my further application is to have the Hon Majority Chief Whip lay the document.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, we will move back to item 4 -- Statements. Hon Members, I have admitted a Statement on traffic and inconveniences on the Kasoa-Awutu Beraku-Winneba Road by the Hon Member for Awutu Senya West, Mr George Nenyi Andah.

STATEMENTS

Speaker
Mr George Nenyi Kojo Andah (NPP — Awutu-Senya West)

Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to express these concerns on behalf of my constituents. Most of the residents within my constituency, Awutu Senya West, residents within Awutu Senya East, residents within the Gomoa East and indeed, commuters /users of the Kasoa - - Awutu Beraku -- Winneba Road are faced with a nagging problem each morning on their way to work or returning home from performing economic and/or social activities within the Accra/Tema area. Mr Speaker, the situation is even worsened on weekends with commuters travelling out of town for funerals and other social activities. Admittedly, the construction of the first phase of the Kasoa interchange by the previous Government has brought some relief on the Kasoa section of the highway, but there is heavy traffic building up at the Kasoa toll booth, which sometimes, backs two or three kilometres, with two hours or more waiting time that commuters or users have to endure and experience. Again, from Liberia camp to Beraku junction, which has also become an inconvenience to my constituents and other commuters. Mr Speaker, this was reported by the previous government during the inauguration of the Circle interchange that the estimated build-up of traffic on that circle road cost the nation a US$100 million annually, which was widely covered live, and subsequently, reported on during H.E. President John Mahama's speech at the Interchange inauguration [Ref Nov 16' 16 GhanaWeb news Report “lack of traffic flow resulted in estimated loss of about US$100 million]. To eradicate these losses, there was an investment in a few interchanges, including the 715 metre Kasoa interchange/flyover. Mr Speaker, I dare say that the economic loss has not been successfully curtailed. Speaking with my distraught constituents, I have heard the most saddening experiences and a desire to have solutions to these inconveniences of severe economic importance as soon as possible. Mr Speaker, take for instance, a morning show panalist of the Enyidado FM, who needs to be on air by 7.00 a.m. Their journey usually comes to a halt at the Liberia camp junction. The host fearing that he would lose his spot on the show, he jumps on a commercial motorcycle, only hoping that the meandering motorbike can get him to work safely and on time. I have listened to similar experiences from taxi drivers within my constituency and neighbouring constituencies who suffer other economic effects and risk losing their jobs. Mr Speaker, as a result of long delays in traffic, drivers and some passengers become impatient and use the shoulders of the road, or over exceed speed limits whenever they have a little opportunity to catch up after spending a lot of time in traffic, putting their lives and those of other road users at risk, there is a likelihood of hitting a pedestrian or another motorist. Mr Speaker, a number of these unemployed individuals find employment opportunities in the long and chaotic traffic congestions, running in between cars in traffic, and end up risking their lives with most of them almost getting knocked down. As a result of this, people are losing their lives through accidents. These inconvenient situations should be rectified. Mr Speaker, allow me to list a few other negative effects this congestion has on my constituents and other commuters: Inability to forecast travel time accurately, leading to drivers allocating more time to travel “just in case” , and less time on productive activities and in some cases, making the passengers pay up for the time spent by the drivers in traffic as if it was their doing in the first place. Fuel is wasted. Increasing air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions owing to increased idling, acceleration and braking. This affects the general health of my constituents and their neighbouring environments. Wear and tear on vehicles as a result of idling in traffic, driving on road shoulders and frequent acceleration and braking, leading to more frequent repairs and replacements. Stressed and frustrated moto- rists, encouraging road rage and reduced health of motorists. Emergencies: blocked traffic interferes with the passage of emergency vehicles travelling to their destinations where they are urgently needed. A case as witnessed by most of my constituents in relation to ambulances. Higher chance of collisions due to tight spacing and constant stopping-and-going.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, may I make the following recommendations for consideration

The immediate regular deployment of the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) personnel to control traffic on these roads. The immediate provision of zebra crossings at points where pedestrians usually cross the road. The provision of traffic lights at the Liberia camp junction and the Beraku road. Activating the prioritised ePayment lane on the toll booth system and consideration for season tickets, et. cetera. Extending the interchange to Akoti Junction area to avoid Liberia camp congestion. Expansion and/or redesigning the interchange to accommodate dedicated lanes for Kasoa - Awutu Beraku - Winneba traffic, and exit lanes redirecting onto auxiliary exits. Auxiliary routes should be tarred. Fast-tracking the completion of the ongoing construction phase of the project. Mr Speaker, these issues raised do not only affect my constituents or our neighbours. They affect the country's general economy and pose a great threat to our human security. At the end of the day, our goals are straightforward; securing human safety, and achieving total social/economic wellbeing. Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I am by this Statement, soliciting support from Hon Members of this House, and humbly recommending to Mr Speaker to consider requesting the Ministry of Roads and Highways or the relevant body to look into these complaints, and provide timely, cost effective and value for money solutions to address these concerns, in order to bring relief to residents within the Awutu Senya West Constituency, and other commuters using these roads.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, may I make the following recommendations for consideration

Speaker
Mr Ras Mubarak (NDC -- Kumbungu)

Mr Speaker, I beg to commend my good Friend, the Hon George Andah for making the Statement. Mr Speaker, traffic congestion in our capital cities has become a huge headache for residents and commuters. If we take an area like Adjiringanor where I live, there are moments when one would have to stay in traffic for about three hours before one gets home. Traffic in and out of the national capital, like many national capitals round the world, is quite a nightmare. Like many cities globally, we can build as many bridges and flyovers as possible, the problem would not go away. I believe what we are facing currently in Accra is, if we like, a collapse of the public transport system. I sincerely believe that we would have to invest a lot more in the public transport system as that would reduce the number of vehicles on our roads. Mr Speaker, may I also suggest that if we look at the Ministries area in Accra, for instance, one gets to the Ministries and there are even no parking spaces. Going forward, we can look at decongestion charges for the number of vehicles that come into some of these areas. So, charges that are accrued from these decongested zones could go into supporting our public transport system. Mr Speaker, it is a very interesting call at the right time and I believe that we would whole-heartedly look at improving on our public transport system. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP -- Effutu)

Speaker
Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah (NDC -- Keta)

Mr Speaker, I would also want to take the opportunity to commend the Hon Member who made the Statement -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I am being intimidated -- Mr Speaker, it is true that in this country, we have a serious challenge with motor traffic on our roads. The traffic situation on our roads is really a nightmare, and if we would walk down memory lane and consider a few years back, it was really chaotic. But we can confidently say that to a large extent, we have seen some drastic improvements. That notwith- standing, what we go through daily, commuting from our various homes to our work places, is still very disheartening and very disturbing. Mr Speaker, it obviously affects productivity, in that, when people are expected to be at their workplaces at 8 o'clock in the morning, the traffic situation would compel them to get to their work places sometimes at 10.00 a.m., or in some cases, even at 11.00 a.m. leading to loss of man-hours that would have necessarily injected or catalysed the economy of this country. So, when we look at it on a daily basis, the number of man-hours that are lost, which should have been a very productive working period, it obviously points to the fact that the economy is really losing so much, and if these strategic approaches are not adopted to address this problem, we would continue to have challenges in diverse ways. Mr Speaker, I would also want to believe that the number of vehicles that we have on our roads are becoming too many. In some households, we have about five or 10 vehicles and people are buying vehicles day in and day out. That in itself, is an indication that the Ghanaian economy is doing well. This is because if people could have the capacity to be buying vehicles regularly, it is pointed to the fact that there is money in their pockets. Mr Speaker, that obviously, is part of the challenge that we have. There are countries where they have certain mechanisms, where if a person owns three or four vehicles, a particular vehicle of his would only be on the road for a certain number of days in the week. I believe that Ghana should think about a move like that because that would definitely be a panacea for addressing the challenge that the Hon Member who made the Statement talked about. Mr Speaker, to touch on what Hon Afenyo-Markin said, in commending the previous Government for doing a lot of expansions as far as road network is concerned -- [Interruption] -- I must say that is the truth. Today, if you compare the situation to ten years ago, we can obviously say that indeed, we have come a long way and there is the need for us to commend the previous Government. Today, we have “Circle-Dubai” -- [Interruption] -- A lot of work is being done on the Kasoa Interchange, that is being talked about, which the Hon Member who made the Statement has admitted. He said that it has lessened the challenge that his people or those commuting from that area face. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, it is obvious that where the previous Government left off -- [Interruption] This is because we know that the Kasoa Interchange -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Patrick Boamah

rose

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member, do you stand on a point of order?

Speaker
Mr Boamah

Mr Speaker, I am happy we will approve the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways by consensus. We do not have any interchange by name “Accra-Dubai.” Secondly, the Hon Member talked about ten years ago. He has forgotten that it was under the former President J. A. Kufuor that the Mallam-Kasoa dualisation road started, up to Mankessim -- [Hear! Hear!] -- under a Japanese grant. So, he has to know his facts, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Quashigah

Mr Speaker, I have not in any way indicated that a particular Government, during a certain era did not contribute to the road network of this country. I made specific reference to what Hon Afenyo-Markin said, which was in reference to the immediate past Government. Mr Speaker, the point of order might probably, be needless. Mr Speaker, basically, our road network needs rescue. We would be expecting a lot from the new Minister for Roads and Highways, whom I have a lot of confidence in; I know he can perform. While considering the roads in the country, we must also be mindful that it is not just about Accra and the major cities, but there are places like Ho that will also require some road expansion and development. So, the focus must not just be on the major cities, such as Accra, Kumasi et cetera.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Order! Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Patrick Y. Boamah (NPP -- Okaikwei Central)

Thank you very Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the Statement on the floor. I must commend the Hon Member who made the Statement. I also wish our sister Hon Hawa Koomson were around. This is because she has been a very passionate discussant on this problem on the Accra- Winneba Highway. Mr Speaker, it is very sad that 60 years after independence, we continue to drive on some of our major highways on a single carriage road. I believe, under this Administration, a lot more would be done to dual most of our aterial roads, namely, Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Takoradi and Accra-Aflao. Mr Speaker, we drive on some of these highways with no street lights. A lot of trucks and broken down vehicles are left on these highways and they have led to the death of so many innocent people. Mr Speaker, recently, another menace has sprang up, which is, markets on some of these major highways, especially around Amasaman, Kasoa and Lapaz, my

Speaker
Mr Patrick Y. Boamah (NPP -- Okaikwei Central)

Speaker
Mr Speaker, lastly, I have made some observations

Some senior citizens of this country drive on these highways with some sirens, unauthorised by the Police. We would all be in traffic and somebody with a four wheel drive with some sirens blaring and asking others to give way without Police escort, which is not very good. We must respect the rules governing the use of our highways and I would ask the Police to be very firm and fair. This is because people will be in traffic for hours and somebody who is rich or unauthorised, will be driving ahead with siren blaring. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

One more on the Minority Side and then Leadership?

Speaker
Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini (NDC -- Tamale Central)

Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to associate myself with the Hon Member who made the Statement and to commend him for it. It has come at an important time in the history of this country. Mr Speaker, infact, nothing can be more frustrating than a person sitting in his vehicle for hours going nowhere. This is as a result of traffic build-ups on most of our roads, whether one is travelling from Winneba towards Accra or from Accra towards Winneba. Indeed, whether one is going from Accra towards Kumasi or from Kumasi towards Accra and whether one is leaving Accra to the Tema Motorway or whether one is coming from Aflao to Accra, nothing can be more frustrating than staying in a car, sweating, if there is no air conditioner or burning fuel if the air conditioner is on. Mr Speaker, never mind the cost in wastage of fuel for work, the cost in losing out on engagements with business partners, the cost of pollution that the exhaust of the vehicle emits for just no work done. That is why it is important as a country to find innovative ways of ensuring that vehicles or automobiles do not waste time in traffic doing nothing just because of congestion. It was that, that motivated and informed the decision of the previous Government to tackle the issue of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, which was then the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, which recorded high numbers of traffic during rush hours. Indeed, it was that very reason that informed the construction of the three interchanges, especially the one at the Nyanyano Junction to ensure that traffic build-up at that junction could be reduced. Mr Speaker, with the intervention on the Kasoa Highway and the motorway around the Lapaz Junction, traffic moved speedily towards that toll booths that were built to ensure that vehicles using the road at least, contribute some moneys towards the maintenance of the roads. Mr Speaker, the congestion is simply that, the toll booths have not been automated to ensure that when vehicles arrive there, they can pass through. Mr Speaker, the good news -- I believe that the Hon Minister nominated for the Ministry of Roads and Highways, in conjunction with the Hon Minister for Finance, would carry on with what has already been started at the Ministry. Mr Speaker, it was the expectation of the previous Government under His Excellency John Dramani Mahama to automate most of our toll booths to provide a comprehensive and holistic solution to traffic congestion on some of these principal roads. Indeed, the concept paper had been done and forwarded to the Public Investment Division Unit of the Ministry of Finance. An evaluation was done and it was thought that the best way to do it, would be to implement it through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme. The policy and programme are still available. I believe that if we are able to introduce automation on our toll booths, we would not only cut off the leakages that characterise the collection of money at the booths, we would also reduce the time spent by vehicles when they arrive there to manually pay for the toll tickets before they are given access to the roads. This is why I think that the Hon Member who made the Statement has actually hit the nail on the head. I would also want to add that in his recommendations, he forgot one very important thing. When it rains at Kasoa and in the Central Region, we experience serious landslides and collection of sand on the road. That impedes traffic on the road. Mr Speaker, this is simply because property developers have decided to build on the adjoining hill that was supposed to be a green belt. I would invite the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development to work closely with the Ministry of Roads and Highways to ensure that we regulate development on top of the hill. This is because when the sand is dislodged and it rains, the sand collects on the road and the road is no longer accessible for vehicle owners. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for the opportunity. I also thank the Hon Member who made the Statement.

Speaker
Mr Muhammed Abdul-Samed Gunu (NPP -- Savelugu)

Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on the status of our roads. Mr Speaker, the roads affect the socio- economic life of every Ghanaian. For instance, if we go to Savelugu, my constituency, the road linking Savelegu to Moglaa has been in bad shape for over 24 years now. A lot of lives have been lost. There is always constant armed robbery attacks on that particular portion of the road. Mr Speaker, this is not to even talk of the Savelugu town roads. I would like to commend my Hon Colleague for making this important Statement.

Speaker
Mr Muhammed Abdul-Samed Gunu (NPP -- Savelugu)

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Leadership?

Speaker
Mr James Klutse Avedzi (NDC -- Ketu North)

Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor. Mr Speaker, this Statement is very important. It has come at the right time. Mr Speaker, the Statement is coming from an Hon Member of the new Administration on the one month anniversary of taking over office. Today being 7th February, 2017, it is exactly one month when the New Patriotic Party took over the administration of this country. Mr Speaker, the Statement is very important, in the sense that it is true that commuters both on our national and regional roads as well as in the city suffer the issue of congestion. Mr Speaker, it is also true that Governments over the years have made a lot of efforts to ensure that our roads are made motorable and in good shape to ensure that users of the roads do not suffer that much. Mr Speaker, it is also true that a lot has been said in terms of the traffic and the efforts that have been made by previous Governments to ensure that even at the toll booths, the road users do not suffer undue delay waiting to probably pay their tolls. What should be recommended is for the public transport system to be improved upon, so that people who use their private vehicles can decide to use the public transport in order to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads. Mr Speaker, another area to look at is the expansion of the roads. We should have more lanes provided because the population of vehicles keep increasing every day. Ghanaians buy new vehicles and the number of vehicles are increasing. So, to ensure that we have a free flow of vehicles, we need to expand our roads as well. Mr Speaker, the previous Government has done a lot, and a number of interchanges and overpasses have been provided. As part of the Meridian Port Services Contract, which was approved by the previous Government to expand the ports, it was to also provide an additional lane at the Tema end of the roundabout. This was to ensure that we had a dedicated lane for trucks that were coming and going to the ports. Mr Speaker, during the time of campaign for the elections last year, a lot had been said in terms of provision of resources and assurances were given to Ghanaians that Ghana had a lot of resources and there was no need to even borrow to do major projects. Mr Speaker, now that the new Administration that gave these assurances to the people of Ghana is in charge of running the affairs of this country, I strongly believe that they would be able to provide the resources despite the promise of reduction in taxes of this country -- to provide the resources to ensure that we expand the road network and improve on the public transport system. This is so, that the issue of congestion could be managed to some level to provide relief for the users of the road in Ghana, our cities and elsewhere in the country. Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I was not really going to contribute at the time when I rose up. It was to come on a point of order against my Hon Colleague who was on his feet. Mr Speaker, he talked about promises that had been made to the extent that as a nation, we were not going to borrow. I do not ever recollect that anybody said that and certainly, what he said was pregnant with insinuations and I thought that he ought to be challenged. Mr Speaker, nobody said so, and let him not reconfigure this House into a political party platform. We are not on a political party platform and nobody said so.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, does that conclude your contribution?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, as I indicated, I was not minded to make a contribution. I said that I had risen up early on and I thought I was going to catch your eye for me to bring my Hon Colleague on track because he was completely out of order.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

That brings us to the end of Statement time. Hon Majority Leader, any indication?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I guess we can now take item numbered 7 on page 2 of today's Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item numbered 7 -- Motions. Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, this is a procedural Motion and I just want to move it on behalf of the Hon Chairman of the Committee. Thereafter, I would rest my case and let the Committee members come and deal with the substantive matter.

MOTIONS

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee)

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 Fourth Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the President's nominations for Ministerial Appoint- ments may be moved today.

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion but with the understanding that the main Motion would only be taken when the Committee members are present on the floor. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Mr James K. Avedzi

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, we are at page 2 of the Order Paper. We may take either the Motions captured as item numbered 6 or 8. I would require the Committee members themselves to be here. I have sent for them to register their presence in the House and I believe if we should wait for a few minutes, they would be here and then we would undertake -- the enterprise of item number 6.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

So, Hon Majority Leader, we are moving to item number 8?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, my attention has been drawn to the fact that the Committee is meeting on an Hon N ominee and my understanding is that it is not likely that they would be able to finish with the person in the next 10 to 15 minutes. Mr Speaker, in that regard, may I pray that we suspend Sitting for just 20 minutes to enable the Committee members join us for the right thing to be done? Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, do you agree?

Speaker
Mr Avedzi

Mr Speaker, yes. Let us suspend Sitting for 20 minutes. Hon Members, the House will be suspended for 20 minutes. Thank you. 1.47 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 3.30 pm - Sitting resumed.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Order! Hon Majority Leader, any indication?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee has excused himself. He is attending to a very pressing issue. He would be with us presently, but because we cannot hold the House in abeyance, I would want to plead with you, that the Hon Ranking Member be allowed to present the Committee's Report, which comes without any controversy.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member, presentation of the Committee's Report.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I have no objection, but I see that the Hon Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, the Hon Majority Chief Whip, who is an able and competent member of the Committee is here. I would indulge you to permit him to submit the Report. Then I would have the opportunity to second it, so that we would debate the Motion and get the approval. I agree with the Hon Majority Leader that there is no controversy in respect of the Fourth Report of the Committee. I also believe that the Hon Majority Leader should prevail upon the Appointments Committee and its Chairman to come into the Chamber to support us do this important exercise. So, Mr Speaker, you might permit the Hon Ameyaw-Cheremeh to do that while I get ready to second whatever Motion he would move.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, since the Hon Ranking Member of the Appointments Committee is conjuring every means to decline that invitation, the Vice Chairperson of the Committee is here with us. I thought that in the absence of the Chairman and the Vice Chairperson, he is the most senior on the Committee. In any event, any member of the Committee could present the Committee's Report. He is an able and capable member of the Committee. That is why I invited him to do so. But since he has declined, there is the Vice Chairperson of the Committee, and she is equally capable of handling the Report. Mr Speaker, so, may I invite the Hon Vice Chairperson of the Committee to do the presentation of the Report?

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader knows too well that I would not run away from any duty. He should also know that we are to suspend the appropriate Standing Orders. The Report was only laid today, and subject to Standing Order 80 (1), he knows what is appropriate per our Standing Orders, not to proceed with the Committee's Report but to seek for the suspension of the Standing Orders, after which I may proceed or the Vice Chairperson or the Hon Majority Chief Whip may present the Committee's Report. So, he should do what is right and stop saying that the “Hon Minority Leader has declined his offer”. He should not change the terms of his offer. I would accept it as a whole. When he varies the terms, it would be a counter offer. I would take it in full.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, when the Hon Minority Leader was not in the Chamber, the House was certainly not waiting for him. We were transacting Business of the House, and indeed, the Motion captured as item numbered 7 has already been moved. The world would not wait for him, respectfully, Hon Minority Leader. Mr Speaker, so we have long gone beyond that. What is left to be done is move item number 8.

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Mr Speaker

Hon Leaders, did we complete the procedural Motion pasted as item number 7?

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Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, it is exactly so.

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Mr Speaker

Did we?

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Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Yes, Mr Speaker, we did.

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Mr Speaker

Therefore, shall we please, proceed to item number 8? Hon Deputy Majority Leader, you may please, move the Motion.

MOTIONS

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Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Fourth Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the

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President's nominations for Ministerial appointments. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I beg to present your Committee's Report. Introduction On 11 th January, 2017, H.E. The President communicated to Parliament the nominations of twelve (12) persons for Ministerial appointments in accordance with article 78 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and same were referred to the Appointments Committee by the Rt Hon Speaker for consideration and report. Following the referral, the Committee duly considered six of the nominations and submitted its Report on them in its Third Report to the House on Wednesday, 1st February, 2017. The outstanding nominations are as follows: to the commencement of proceedings, the nominees subscribed to the Oath of a Witness and proceeded to answer questions relating to their Curriculum Vitae, matters relating to their eligibility, issues pertaining to the offices to which they have been nominated and other issues of national concern. The Committee has duly considered the six nominations and reports as follows: Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful--Minister- designate for Communications Background Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was born on 20th October, 1964 at Akyem Oda in the Eastern Region. She had her elementary education at the Harrow International School, Abeka, from 1970 to 1976. She attended Mfantsiman Girls Secondary School, Saltpond, from 1976 to 1980 for her ‘O' Level and later continued at the Labone Secondary School from 1981 to 1984 for her ‘A' Level. She also attended the University of Ghana, Legon, from 1985 to 1988 and obtained the Bachelor's of Laws Certificate (LL.B). She thereafter attended the Ghana School of Law from 1988 to 1990 for her Barrister at Law Certificate (BL) and was subsequently called to the Ghana Bar in 1990. Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful possesses a certificate in Government Integrity from the International Law Institute, George- town University, Washington DC, and a Certificate in Project Planning and Management from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). She also has a Masters Degree in Conflict, Peace and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC), Accra. The nominee again obtained a Certificate in Regulating Quality of Service and a Certificate in Structuring and Negotiating Legal Agreements for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Concessions and Grants, in September, 2015, from the Institute of Public-Private Partnerships IP3, Arlington, USA. Hon Owusu-Ekuful did her national service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Accra (1984 to 1985)in the first instance and later at the Greater Accra Legal Aid Board (1999-1991). She taught at the Miyazaki and at the same time was a Columnist for the Miyanichi Shimbun Newspaper in Miyazaki, Japan from 1994 to 1996. Hon Owusu-Ekuful was an Associate at the Akufo-Addo, Prempeh and Co., Legal Practitioners and Notaries Public from 1990 to 2000. Between 2001 and 2002, she worked as a Special Assistant to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and thereafter proceeded to work as Governance Coordinator at the Ministry of Justice from 2002 to 2003. She was the Managing Consultant at Nu Consult, a Legal, Governance and Gender Consulting firm between 2003 and 2005. She then moved to work with Western Tele-Systems (Westel) as the Acting Managing Director (2005- 2008) and later as the Corporate and External Affairs Director for Zain Ghana Limited from 2008 to 2009. The nominee is the Member of Parliament for the Ablekuma West Constituency in the Greater Accra Region and has represented the constituency since 2013. As part of her parliamentary duties, she serves on a number of Committees including the Appointments committee, Committees on Health and Communications. i) Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful -- Minister-designate for Communications ii) Hon Joseph Kofi Adda -- Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources iii) Hon Kwasi Amoako-Atta -- Minister-designate for Roads and Highways; iv) Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah -- Minister-designate for Transport v) Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng -- Minister-designate for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation vi) Hon Joe Ghartey -- Minister-designate for Railways Development Reference Documents The Committee referred to the under- listed documents during its deliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana ii. The Standing Orders of Par- liament iii. The Curriculum Vitae of the nominees. Consideration of the Referral The names of the nominees and notice of the Committee's public hearing were published in the national newspapers for the attention of the general public pursuant to Order 172 (3) of the Standing Orders of the House. As part of the publication, the Committee requested memoranda from the general public concerning any of the nominees. The Committee subsequently obtained confidential reports in respect of the nominees from the Ghana Police Service and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI). The Committee also obtained tax status reports on the nominees from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). The Committee thereafter held a public hearing to consider the nominations. Prior

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Reducing the number of Checkpoints on Highways The nominee conceded that the high number of checkpoints on the country's highways has become a source of worry to both local and foreign investors. He alluded to several instances where perishable products could not be hauled to their destinations or market centres in time because of the numerous check- points. He stated that the issue is of critical concern to the Government and that he would work closely with the Ministry of Interior for an alternative way of checking vehicles without undue delay. James Town/Keta Harbour Promise Commenting on steps he would take to accomplish promise by the NPP to construct harbours at James Town and Keta, the nominee stated he would, in the first instance, undertake feasibility studies at the proposed locations to obtain baseline information. He said he would then use that information to design an incentive package to attract private investors to partner the Government to construct the harbours. He underscored the commitment of the Government of putting in place the necessary legislative framework to support private investors interested in partnering the State to deliver on its Manifesto promises. Road Safety Measures While registering his displeasure about the alarming rate of road traffic accidents, the nominee stressed the need for collective effort on the part of all stakeholders in addressing the situation. He said, if he is approved by the House, he would strengthen the capacity of the Ministry and its agencies, particularly the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) to effectively implement preventive safety measures on our roads. In this respect, he would act expeditiously on the review of the NRSC Act, 1999 (Act 567), which was commenced by the previous Administration. The nominee intends to also empower the NRSC to undertake sensitisation programmes across the country on road safety. Additionally, he said he would collaborate with the Ministry of Roads and Highways to ensure that high standards of road engineering and road maintenance schedules are religiously adhered to. Again, he would collaborate with the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service to bring sanity on our roads. Reviving the Tema Shipyard Company Relating to strategies he would employ to revive the Tema Shipyard, the nominee stated that the company has enormous potential, which must be harnessed to drive the socioeconomic development of the country. According to him, Tema Shipyard still has the capability to provide manufacturing, repairs and maintenance services to ships, which dock at the ports and to Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Units. On whether he intended to engage a private investor to assist in revamping the Company, the nominee indicated that it will be premature to proffer solutions to revive the company since he has not received any briefing on the status of operations of the company. He pledged to hold discussions with the management of the Company and other stakeholders to explore options and stressed that he would not hesitate to engage a strategic investor if the review process indicated that as a viable option. Regulation of Seamen and Seafarers When asked about measures he would pursue to regulate Seamen and Seafarers in the country, the nominee stated that he would hold a roundtable discussion with major players in the industry, particularly the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Regional Maritime University to identify mechanisms for their effective training and to also ensure that certification processes meet international standards. He hoped that such discussions would provide guidance on how to assist them to become experts in the field and how to perhaps, export such skills. Hikes in Vehicle Insurance Charges The nominee agreed that the recent hikes in vehicle insurance charges could be detrimental to the objectives of insuring vehicles in the country. He noted that even though the insurance regulator, the National Insurance Commission, is not under the purview of the Ministry of Transport and such it would be difficult to influence their pricing of insurance in an effort to make the cost of insurance affordable. He however, pledged to hold a discussion with the Commission in order to find alternative ways of making the cost of vehicular insurance affordable. Eliminating Middlemen from the Driver's Licence Acquisition process The nominee stated that so long as human interface is prominent in the licence acquisition process, it would be impossible to do away with the middlemen popularly called “Goro boys” at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) offices. To address the situation, the nominee said he would deploy technology to all aspects of the licence acquisition process, which he em- phasised, had already begun. Addi- tionally, he would pursue the policy of decentralisation of licence acquisition, decongest some DVLA Offices and also partner the private sector to establish vehicle testing centres across the country. To this end, the nominee promised to introduce incentives to encourage private investors to support the decentralisation process by setting up offices in areas where returns on investment is likely to be low. He pledged to roll out educational programmes to sensitise prospective applicants on the dangers of engaging middlemen. Nominee's View on “Okada” The nominee acknowledged that though the laws regulating the transport sector prohibit the use of tricycles or motorbikes to provide commercial transport services popularly known as “Okada”, the activities of these operators have assisted in meeting the transport needs of some Ghanaians, particularly those living in the hinterlands. According to him, the critical issue surrounding “Okada” has to do with the rate of accidents associated with the trade. He said if their use is to be promoted, given their benefits to Ghanaians, then adequate regulatory measures need to be put in place to prevent accidents. He advocated for the review of existing laws to accommodate the concerns and to meet the demands of the time. Support for the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service On whether he would support the idea of certain organisations such as Insurance Companies and the DVLA setting aside portions of their internally generated funds to support the work of MTTD, the nominee lauded the idea and

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stated that it was worth considering as a Minister for Transport if approved by the House. He, however, intimated that adequate consultations would have to be carried out to engender buy-in from all stakeholders. Construction of the Atuabo Free Port The nominee noted that the purpose for the construction of the Atuabo Free Port was to have a dedicated port that can serve the oil and gas industry in the country. He indicated that he was aware of some fracas between a private investor engaged to construct the Port and that of the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority. He indicated that his opinion on the matter was that as much as the State would want to use the private sector to achieve certain developmental objectives, it was important that such decisions are not detrimental to the people. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus the nomination of Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah for appointment as the Minister responsible for Transport. Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng -- Minister-designate for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Background Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng was born on 4 th October, 1949 at Gyankobaa in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He attended the Roman Catholic School in Gyankobaa from 1954 to 1960 and Bishop's Boys School in Bubuashie, Accra from 1960 to1962 for his primary education. He pursued his Middle School education at the Anglican Middle School, Nkawie from 1962 to 964. He proceeded to the Sekondi College, Sekondi for his O' Level Certificate from 1964 to 1968. He later enrolled at the University of Ghana between 1968 and 1969 and obtain his Pre- Science Certificate. Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB.CHB) from the University of Ghana (UG) in 1975. He again attended the Goethe Institue in Radolfzell and Boppard in Germany from May to September 1975. He also attended the Medizinishe Hochschule, Hannover, Germany from October to December, 1988. The nominee started his professional career as House Officer at the Department of Surgery, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra (July, 1975 - December, 1975) and again as House Officer at the Department of Medicine at the same hospital (December 1975-June 1976). He then proceeded to the Komfo Anokye Hospital, Kumasi as a Medical Officer (1976-1978). He subsequently moved to Germany where he worked with the Hannover Medical School, Germany as Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon (1985-1988). On his return to Ghana, he was appointed the Head of the Department of Surgery, (University of Ghana Medical School). Professor Frimpong Boateng served as the Chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) from 2008 to 2009. He was also the President of the Ghana Red Cross Society between 2005 and 2007. From 1989 to 2011, the nominee was the Director of the National Cardiothoracic Centre. He was also appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital from 2002 to 2007. The nominee has been the President of the Ghana Heart Foundation since 1989. He belongs to a number of professional bodies in pursuit of his professional career. He is a fellow of the Ghana Medical Association, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and the West African College of Surgeons. He is also a member of the Germany Society of Surgery, the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery and the International Society of Surgery. The nominee has received a number of prestigious awards in recognition of his exceptional public service and for his achievements in the field of medicine. He is the recipient of the National Award, Companion of the Order of the Volta and the Osagyefo, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, African Genius award in the category of Medicine/Public Service in 2014. He was winner of the 2012 edition of the Prestigious African Heroes Award presented by the Ohio University, USA. Professor Frimpong Boateng has authored two books, including the book entitled “Deep Down my Heart” and contributed to a number of publications. Responses to Questions Rationale for Engaging in Politics In an answer to why he has gone into politics besides his profession as a renowned heart surgeon, the nominee alluded to his passion to see the nation develop through science and technology. He stated that while practising as a Surgeon, he noticed that the deployment of science and technology to drive the developmental agenda of the country was not paramount in political discussions across the country. He, therefore, decided to engage in politics in order to reverse the trend and also to raise awareness of the enormous benefits the country stands to gain if the country employs science and technology in all sectors of the economy. Measures to promote Science and Technology In response to how he intends to promote science and technology as an economic driver in the development of the nation, the nominee stated that it will require medium to long-term measures. As part of his plans as the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation if approved by the House, would be to liaise with the Ministry of Education to emphasise the teaching and learning of science and technology, so that the children of the country can grow up appreciating the importance of science and technology. In this respect, he stated the commitment of the NPP Government to promote the study of Science and Mathematics with emphasis on practical exercises to explain natural phenomenon to young people at the basic school level. If approved by the House, he will also pursue development of science and technology infrastructure, such as CNC Machine Centers and technology parks across the country to facilitate the development innovative ideas by Ghanaians and also create a critical mass of scientist and technologist in Ghana. Funding of Science and Technology The nominee regretted the current 0.25 per cent of GDP, which the country spends on science and technology research and noted that the amount was inadequate compared to the sub-Saharan African average of 2.5 per cent. He indicated that the NPP Government's

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strategy was to increase the expenditure gradually from the current level to 1.0 per cent of the country's GDP, because it believes with such expenditure a lot of jobs will be created for the people of this country. According to the nominee, the current poverty gap has a direct link with gap in the adoption of technology of the country. He stated that the Government through the Ministry of Finance would ensure that budgetary allocations are provided annually to support this agenda. Encroachment on Lands belonging to Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission The nominee expressed his displeasure about the way lands belonging to the CSIR and the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) were being encroached upon by some individuals and institutions. While commending the officials of CSIR and GAEC for their service to the nation, he stated that the situation could be linked to the lack of appreciation of the contributions of the research institutions in the development of this nation. He indicated his commitment to immediately consult the stakeholders in the land administration sector of the country, which includes chiefs to retrieve the lands and to devise ways to preserve the lands for future use if given the nod. Non observance of Environmental Safety Guidelines Relating to the non observance of guidelines instituted by the Environmental Protection Agency to guarantee environmental safety, the nominee blamed the situation on the culture of indiscipline among some Ghanaians. He indicated that most of the environmental disasters, such fire outbreaks at fuel stations and gas explosions that befell the country in recent times were avoidable if guidelines had been adhered to. He called for the change in attitude of Ghanaians and implored them to take responsibility for their safety. He said if approved by the House, he would hold discussions with all stakeholders in the environmental management of the country, particularly those involved in the issue of environmental permit to come up with sensitisation programmes to deal with the situation. Accessing the US$100 bn Global Fund on Climate Change On measures he would institute to enable the country benefit from the US$100 billion Global Fund meant to tackle climate change round the world, the nominee said that the challenge with accessing such funds has been the writing of good proposals. Despite this, the nominee noted that Ghana is fortunate to have highly qualified professionals both in the country and abroad who can write proposals acceptable to the Climate Change Office. He assured the Committee of his commitment to tap into the resourceful- ness of such individuals in presenting acceptable proposals to the Climate Change Office in order to access the Fund to support interventions directed at addressing the impact of climate change in the country. Using Science and Technology to manage Urban Waste The nominee admitted that employing science and technology in the urban waste management can help the nation to address its waste management and energy challenges. By establishing recycling plants, he said, the country can separate complex wastes, such as e-Waste into their respective components to be used in manufacturing machine components. Likewise, the country can also generate energy from liquid wastes collected from homes. He indicated that he would collaborate with the relevant Ministries, such as Water Resources and Sanitation and Energy to further the agenda of employing simple technologies to manage wastes in our cities. In this regard, he promised to lend his support to the Agbogbloshie e- Waste Management Project. Management of Land Field Sites In response to concerns about the inefficient management of land field sites in some parts of the country, which has led to the contamination of ground water, the nominee said that the only way to effectively deal with the situation is for the country to double her efforts at establishing recycling plants. While registering his regret of the situation, he pledged to collaborate with Ministries of Water Resources and Sanitation and Energy to put in measures to attract more private investors into waste management of the country. Encouraging Innovation among the Youth In his answer to what can be done to encourage and tap the potentials of rural creativity and innovation in youth, the nominee said he intends to establish innovative centres in all regions of Ghana, where children can have access to machine parts and technological tools to build simple machines. He also hinted of partnering the private sector to also establish shops that deal in electronic equipment required for scientific and technological experiments. Again, he intends to establish a Business Development Unit at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to be supported by an Advisory Council on Science and Technology to assist youth and young scientists with innovative ideas to develop them into business ventures. Encouraging Women to Pursue Careers in Science and Technology Responding to how he intends to encourage women to pursue professions in science and technology, he stated that one of the avenues would be to expose young girls to role models in various scientific fields. He further stated that instituting mentorship programmes and science clinics for young girls, can also help remove the perception of science being a difficult subject and area meant for only men. He pledged to implement some of these measures if approved by the House. Strong Regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency Commenting on the need to strengthen the EPA and to also make it accountable in the discharge of their mandate, the nominee observed that the EPA have been doing their best under challenging circumstances, such as low remuneration and inadequate logistics. He said, his interactions with some officials of the EPA revealed that they were often restrained in discharging some of their responsibilities due to political interferences, particularly in granting of permits. In view of this revelation, the nominee called on the political leadership to limit their interference in the work of the EPA. He further stated his intention of critically examining their regulatory functions to

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He also noted that the establishment of the Ministry of Railways Development has triggered a lot of interest of the private sector in the railway sector and that will help to raise the needed funding. On whether he would assure the Committee that he would choose an option, which would not lead to more borrowing and increase the country's debts, he responded that he did not have the power to make such a commitment but indicated that if approved, he would be ready to come to Parliament to answer an urgent Question relating to that. Dealing with Encroachment on Railway Lines On how he intends to deal with encroachment on railway lines, the nominee stated that he would deal with it the way we all deal with encroachment and that would involve a combination of litigation and negotiation. He, however, stated that he did not consider litigation as an option because it breeds bad blood and takes a long time and in that regard, he said that he would do more negotiations. He recounted an encroachment issue, which arose between the Ghana Railways Company and some of his constituents regarding an encroachment issue where a mosque had been constructed on a railway land at a place called Bakado where negotiation was used to settle the matter. He also indicated that he would collaborate with the District Assemblies and do his best to ensure that least possible damage would be caused to property. Initiatives to facilitate Land Acquisition for Railways Development On how he intends to engage traditional authorities to deal with the difficulties in land acquisition in the country, the nominee told the Committee that he would employ negotiation in dealing with the traditional authorities. He stated that the development of railway lines would cut across a lot of traditional areas and would therefore, involve a lot of traditional authorities. To buttress his point, he recounted that when the Burma Camp and the Airport were being acquired, three different chiefs laid claim to the same piece of land and also indicated that there had also been instances where two or chiefs laid claim to the same piece of land. He said his approach would involve a combination of things and stated that he would negotiate when the opportunity presents itself. He stated that he would urge traditional authorities not to take compensation, which is one-time payment but instead encourage them to partake in the economic boom, which offers long- term benefits. He further indicated that he would consult the various houses of chiefs in dealing with the land issue. He was confident that the chiefs would be partners of the new railway boom as they are also agents of development. Making Railway Business Profitable On how he intends to make the railway business profitable in view of the country's small population and the expected small volumes, the nominee stated that the same argument was made when the Akosombo Dam was being built but today, the Dam has become too small for us and for that matter, we must think big. He said different kinds of trains can use the same railway lines and explained that one railway line can take passengers and at the same time, take cargo trains and that there are different streams of income, which can be derived from the industry. He, therefore, promised to force himself to think outside the box and do his best in that regard. He said, critics must look ahead between ten and fifteen years to see the development that the railway sector would bring. He also said that there is no developed country without a railway sector and that shows that they may be doing something right and for that matter, we should join them by doing same. On whether the nominee would consider the use of light trains to be used in the cities, the nominee responded in the affirmative and accordingly promised to consider that proposal if he is approved by the House. Dismissal of the CEO of Ghana Railways Development Authority The nominee stated that as the President's representative, there was a limit to what he could do but promised that he would deal with the issue if he is given the nod. He informed the Committee that he would harness all expertise in the sector including former employees in the railway sector and said that it would be all hands on deck as the railway boom will be enough for everybody. Management of Revenue Collection at Railway Stations On what he would do to improve revenue collection, the nominee cited a private bus service in Ghana called Ayalolo Bus Service, which has been automated. On the basis of that, he assured the Committee that we can do it and he would ensure that that is replicated in the railways sector. He also disclosed that there are some young men in the country who have ideas about how to do this and who are ready to create a business out of those solutions. On when he would implement the e- Ticketing Project, the nominee responded that he was not in the position to give an assurance but said that the project is important and he will pursue it if he is given the nod. NPP's Manifesto Promises on Railways Development Responding to a question on the timelines for the fulfilment of the NPP's Manifesto promises regarding railway development including the expansion of railway network to the northern part of Ghana, the nominee explained that railway development goes through a number of stages, which are the pre-feasibility stage, feasibility stage, front end engineering stage and implementation stage. He disclosed that in order to do it as quickly as possible, the Government had decided to focus on stand-alone sections of the project including the Buipe-Paga, Buipe-Techiman, Techiman and Kumasi sections. He stated that in some of the sections, some proposals have been received and costed but some are at early stages. He reiterated that the President is desirous that the project is completed within the shortest possible time and that would be within the four years and was optimistic that when the 2017 Budget is approved, work will start. Controversy over Assets of Ghana Railways Authority On what he would do to guarantee the protection of the assets of the Ghana

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Railways Company which became vested in the Ghana Railways Development Authority, the nominee indicated that he had made it clear to both entities that we either swim or sink together and disclosed that he had already started talking to them. He said, if need be, he would look at asset distribution to ensure that the Ghana Railways Company has the capacity to carry out its mandate and to pay its workers. Welfare of Railways Workers The nominee indicated that the problem of railways workers is a personal problem to him because he has a lot of railway workers as his constituents and that he knew the problems that the workers face. He stated that he had submitted a proposal, which includes a certain input of cash flow to the Ghana Railways Company and had also submitted a three- year plan, which would enable the company look after their worker and to improve their welfare. Complementary Industry to serve the Railways Sector On whether he would support a proposal for the development of a complementary industry to service the railway sector, the nominee responded in the affirmative. He emphasised that the new railways sector as envisaged by the NPP Administration will not be a stand- alone industry but it would include other service industries. Recommendation The Committee recommends that the House approves by consensus the nomination of Hon Joe Ghartey as the Minister responsible for Railways. Conclusion and General Recommen- dation The Committee has duly considered the nominations of His Excellency the President for Ministerial appointments in line with the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House and recommends the following thirteen (13) nominees to the House for approval: .

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Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for the adoption of the Fourth Report of the Appointment's Committee, on H.E. the President's nominations for Ministerial appointments. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I may respectfully refer you to page 8 of your Committee's Report -- even the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal on water is not by 2020, but by 2030. I do also know that for our purposes in Ghana, with my briefing from the Ministry responsible for water, Ghana sets 2025 for the attainment of that Goal. So, the appropriate correction could be done. It should be captured as “76 to 100 per cent by 2025”. Mr Speaker, based on what I heard from the Hon Vice Chairperson, I would again refer you to paragraph 9, page 32 of your Committee's Report. The phrase; “13 nominees to the House”, which slipped out of the Hon Vice Chairman's mouth during her presentation, should be changed to “6 nominees to the House”, because we are considering the approval in respect of six nominees, and not 13, so that all our Hon Colleagues, who have the Reports would follow the debate in respect of the “6” and not “13”. Mr Speaker, we should therefore, substitute “13” for “6”, under paragraph nine, the last line of page 32. Mr Speaker, I would now move on to the main issue that this House is considering. All six are being approved by consensus. Mr Speaker, you may permit me to make brief comments about the nominees. Mr Speaker, number one is the Hon Minister- designate for Communications. It is a very critical Ministry that would support Ghana, taking advantage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Mr Speaker, the nominee was very calm and sober and with your permission, I would say that she had moved from a vituperative world into a very calm, diplomatic world. Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word “vituperative” [Laughter] --The nominee was known publicly for standing by her conviction, but at the Committee, as we considered her, I realised that she had learnt, as I listened to her, from the Kofi Annan Peace Training Centre, some lessons as “Diplomatic Communication and Engagements, which won the hearts of many Hon Members of the Committee. Mr Speaker, what is important is that she assured this House, that she would continue with the e-Governance initiative and ensure that we have a paperless economy, where Parliament, the Judiciary, Cabinet and many other agencies of Government would benefit from the deployment of e- Services. Mr Speaker, what is important again, is that she would also be leading the country into a very important migration process of an analogue world to a digital world, in terms of television and radio, which has many implications for our country. Mr Speaker, number one, it would improve voice quality; two, it would allow for some spectrum dividend and I believe that she would dedicate the dividend for the unserved rural areas of Ghana, in order that they can have better access to internet. Mr Speaker, what is important for us is for Ghana to meet the deadline of going digital, because being within the analogue

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Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu)

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Thank you very much, Hon Deputy Majority Leader.

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spectrum does not help the country at all. The rest of the world since 2016 have moved away and therefore, it is important that as we set country deadlines, we are mindful of the International Tele- communication Unit (ITU) mandatory period for us to do the migration. Mr Speaker, she is also benefiting from a new Ministry of Communication and National Data Centre which we initiated in 2010, which allows for the hosting of data. Again Mr Speaker, she assured this House and this matter is of interest, particularly to the financial sector of our economy having a dedicated national identification system for this country to distinguish between Ghanaian nationals and the rest of the world. Mr Speaker, we also considered Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister- designate for Environment, Science Technology and Innovation. Mr Speaker, he has earned the respect of the Ghanaian public as a respected Scientist. He has contributed immensely to the development of medicine, particularly in the area of cardio and its related management -- the management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and others. Mr Speaker, we are encouraged that he would use science and technology to facilitate the development of our country. He said that matters of electronic waste and other related issues will receive his attention. We believe that, Mr Speaker, the President has identified a very competent person by his standing with his knowledge of science. We will monitor what he does. Mr Speaker, Hon Members speaking on behalf of the constituents were mindful of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its regulatory role. In many parts of the country, petrol and gas filling stations are emerging without respect to citizens' rights and the rights for citizens to expect that they would be respected. We expect that he would strengthen the regulatory hand of it. The nominee was also reminded about some public lands in the hands of related institutions under his watch -- the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. He was advised by the Committee to take an immediate action to see to a cessation of that particular move where those landed properties are being given away. Mr Speaker, we, by consensus, recommend the approval of Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng as Hon Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. Mr Speaker, we also considered the nomination of the Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources even though, we on this Side of the House cannot appreciate why sanitation would be a stand-alone or added to another portfolio of a Ministry. This is because sanitation as we all know, comes under the watch and management largely of District Mr Speaker, I did not hear Black Stars “one player one goal”. So, he has our support. Mr Speaker, while we wish him well and every success, we would want to remind him that the last Cabinet approval which came to this august House, a US$35 million facility for the Damongo Water Project -- We expect that he would take urgent and appropriate steps to see to the realisation and implementation of this, so that the people of Damongo and its environs would be assured of access to equitable water pursuant to the United Nations goals of ensuring that we improve the standing from 76 per cent, probably, under his tenure to 82 or 89 per cent or working closer to the 100 per cent. He is a very competent person; he demonstrated it when he was the Hon Minister for Energy, except that the adum dum adum dum at the time did not end, neither is dumsor ending even as we enter this particular period. Mr Speaker, we, by consensus, support the approval of Hon Joseph Kofi Adda as Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources. We however, will recommend strongly that he works collaboratively with the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development. We know that under the District Assemblies Common Fund, there is some funding available to support sanitation initiative and that he would continue with many of them. Mr Speaker, the next person we considered was the Hon Kwasi Amoako- Attah, the Minister-designate for Roads and Highways. Mr Speaker, I had the privilege at the Law School to study with the nominee and we, by consensus, recommend him for approval as Hon Minister for Roads and Highways. He is a very humble and affable gentleman, with known personal attributes and some managerial -- I worked with him again in my capacity as Hon Minister for Trade and Industries when he played some role at GTP and our commitment to see the Ghanaian textile industry do well as providing major employment and protecting the Ghanaian market space. Mr Speaker, we believe that the Hon Amoako-Attah will supervise the completion of the Bolgatanga-Bawku Road which the previous Government initiated. The contractor was adequately mobilised with over GH¢90 million, so that the road would be completed. I also know that there were initiatives at the Obetsebi Interchange for commencement of work -- The enhanced Road Fund projects, cocoa roads and others and many other bridge projects were initiated. Mr Speaker, he again, assured your Committee and this House that he would work to see the completion of many of the projects initiated by the previous Administration, respecting the Directive Principles of State Policy and that President Akufo-Addo, with his advice, will continue with many projects. Mr Speaker, he came also to appreciate what has become a major outstanding debt in terms of the road sector arrears and I

Speaker
Mr Speaker

am sure now he will understand why the previous Government introduced the energy sector levy. This is because a portion of it was the increment from 7 pesewas to 40 pesewas in order that the Road Fund could do better and he would be able to retire many of the arrears of the road sector, relying on the energy sector levy. Mr Speaker, the nominee also, in responding to questions, showed a certain discipline as a person and that he would bring his managerial expertise to supervise the engineers and ensure value for money for many of our road projects. We look forward to seeing him complete many of these projects. Mr Speaker, in concluding, may I now refer to the Hon Joe Ghartey, Minister- designate for Railways Development. Mr Speaker, again, he is a very competent person. He knows his law very well, particularly corporate law. He has been Second Deputy Speaker of this august House; Member of Parliament representing the people of Esikadu- Ketan. Mr Speaker, our concern was the deliberate annihilation of the Ministry of Roads and Highways by President Nana Akufo-Addo. Now, we have a Ministry of Railways Development, Ministry of Aviation and Ministry of Transport. All of it could still be under one Ministry of Transport. But we should understand that probably, the President wants better and early results. We believe that the Hon Joe Ghartey will bring in the results. In the NPP Manifesto, we are promised that they will squeeze water out of stone and that we should be assured just like in some previous manifesto pledges, that, railway lines would be extended from Accra to Paga. Within four years, we will monitor his progress; we will monitor how he implements that. 4. 00 p.m.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

On a point of Order. Mr Speaker, the Appointments Committee, to which my Hon Colleague belongs, a nominee made a statement that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was breathing heavily on the shoulders of the then President. This is an idiomatic expression and yet people did not understand. The person was made to withdraw. Now, the Hon Ranking Member says that the NPP Manifesto promised to “squeeze water out of stone”. Where is it captured in the Manifesto?

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader knows that I will ignore him and ignore him very well, that to squeeze water out of stone - We have been in that promise well before under the same NPP in some other manifesto of a sort, which probably, did not win an election anyway. But be that as it may, it is the wish of every Ghanaian that we have an improved railway system in the country and the people of Paga, Hamile, Tamale, Kintampo or Buipe, as the nominee indicated, cannot wait to celebrate with him if he can extend railway lines to them within the four year mandate of this Administration. We will particularly monitor his progress. You have our prayers to extend railway to Paga and many parts of the country. Mr Speaker, finally, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, Minister-designate for Transport, who also promised to work to improve the transaction cost, particularly the clearance of goods and services at the Port, improve the efficiency of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. We related to him, that he must have a dedicated improved transport system, which deals with the rush hours of Ghanaian workers, so that from 5. 00 a. m. to 5. 00 p.m., he would make sure that transport services are available to many workers who want to get in and out of their work places. Mr Speaker, we also recommend his approval by consensus as the Minister- designate for Transport. We also advised him against the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the use of the ‘Goro Boys', more especially, on matters relating to the issuance of licence to illiterate persons, and to ensure that he respects the policy, which says that, at least, those who have access to the Ghanaian driving licence are persons who can read and write, so that tomorrow, they would not shout at the pedestrians, whether they are appropriately on the road. With these remarks, Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, that this House approves by consensus, the nominations of the six persons as submitted. Thank you, Mr Speaker Question proposed.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, there would be three Members from each side who would speak very briefly. You do not need to make an introduction, just make your own comments and we proceed.

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzrah (NDC- HO West)

Thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion, that this House supports and also approves the nomination of H.E the President, for the various Ministerial offices. Mr Speaker, just as you mentioned, briefly, I would touch on just three of the nominees. First of all, our Hon Colleague, Hon Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, who has been designated to take the Ministry of Communications. We all know that data is important in every development. More especially, when national identification is important in this part of the world. In other jurisdictions, we have the national identification working effectively but we do not have such in our country. I would be very happy and also to give her a gift when her promise of fulfilling the smart identity cards for all Ghanaians by the close of 2017. Mr Speaker, we would support her and just like the Hon Minority Leader had said, we would pray with her that this vision of every Ghanaian having a smart identity card comes to fruition in 2017. Mr Speaker, the other nominee is Hon Joseph Kofi Adda, who has been nominated as the Hon Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources. He has mentioned that he would continue with the Sanitation Day that had been started by the previous Government. I would hope that he would continue with that and make sure that our environment is clean, so that all of us live a healthier life in this country. Mr Speaker, the final one has to do with our own Hon Colleague, Hon Joe Ghartey, who, we all call “Presido, Presido”. Mr Speaker, we know Hon Joe Ghartey would go to the Ministry of Railways Development and make sure that the first locomotive engine will move from Esikado straight to Bolgatanga before the close of 2020. This is because we are all waiting for our railway lines to begin to work.

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzrah (NDC- HO West)

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Member, especially for keeping the time . No introductions; make your points. Hon Members you need not go through a list of every single nominee. You can speak on specific areas if you so feel.

Speaker
Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka (NPP- Tempane)

Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion -

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member, I know every Hon Member appreciates the opportunity. I have kept on saying that - kindly move on to your contribution. [Laughter.]

Speaker
Mr Kpemka

Mr Speaker, I would like to specifically comment on the sterling performance --[Interruptions]--

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Order! Order!! I appreciate you very much, Hon Members. Learn to take a cue. Hon Member, proceed.

Speaker
Mr Kpemka

I would like to specifically comment on the sterling performance of Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who has endeared herself so much to many a people, including my constituency in particular. I monitored the vetting process and she distinguished herself in the way she answered the questions. I was therefore not surprised that the distinguished Hon Minority Leader did pass those nice comments about her. Mr Speaker, the next person I would like to talk about, briefly, is my distinguished senior, Hon Joseph Kofi Adda, the MP for Navrongo, who is going to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. Being one of the distinguished sons of Upper East, and a returnee for that matter, I am much convinced that his capabilities that he carried to the Ministry of Energy under the Government of H. E. President Kufuor -- and other Ministries where he functioned effectively, will once again, be brought to bear on the new Ministry, which has been established. I would like to, with the greatest respect, end by also commenting briefly on the Minister-designate for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Frimpong Boateng. It is a fact that in this country, he is one of the most distinguished scientists, who over the period, sacrificed and came back to this country to establish a Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle- BuTeaching Hospital and contributed meaningfully to the scientific renaissance of our mother country. I have no doubt in my mind that, with the appointment of Prof. Frimpong Boateng, science would have a different face in this Government and what we are clamouring for, the new scientific renaissance, would be born in our country. With these few words, I support the Motion on the floor of the House.

Speaker
Mr Samuel N. George (NDC -- Ningo- Prampram)

Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity. I would want to make comments on two of the Ministers-designate who have been approved by this Hon House. Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister- designate for Communications. I would want to urge her to continue and see to a successful completion of the digital migration process that was started under the last Administration. It is key that Ghana meets the deadline. A lot of work has been put into it and I would want to believe that, from her answers given during her vetting, she would see to its successful completion. Touching on the national identification card also, it is a very key thing and I would want to believe that she has the benefit of the e-Governance project, which is already underway. It would provide some level of support to her Ministry to carry out a detailed National Identification (ID) system that would see all Ghanaians have one ID card. On the Minister-designate for Roads and Highways, Hon Kwesi Amoako Atta, I would want to see a successful completion of projects that are underway in my constituency, especially the Afienya - Dawhenya road, which for the past 20 years, has not been completed by the NPP and NDC Administrations. I hope that in his time, we would be able to see a successful completion to that very important road that seeks to take traffic off the Afienya - Accra - Tema - Akosombo road. I would also want to urge him to continue with dualisation of many of our major roads. for example, the Tema to Akosombo and Tema to Sogakope roads. Dualisation of these roads would help because a lot of traffic is moving into that part of town now. We spend so many hours in traffic. Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity given me.

Speaker
Mr Richard M. K. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta)

Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, the nominees before us are all very competent people, who, to a large extent, have demonstrated the needed capacity to perform in the offices that they have been nominated. I would want to commend all of them, especially my Hon Colleague, Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who, I was on the same Committee with -- Committee on Communications. Her performance on that Committee during the Sixth Parliament demonstrated that she has the tenacity of purpose and the capacity to deliver in the Ministry that she has been nominated to. We would therefore, not expect any failure on her part, especially with the digital migration project that was successfully embarked upon by the former Government and led by Hon Omane Boamah, the former Minister for Communications. I believe it would be very pertinent and important that she speaks and confers with Hon Omane Boamah as well as Hon Haruna Iddrisu, who have held those portfolios before. Mr Speaker, I would also want to commend the Hon Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources. He is a very affable gentleman, capable and would definitely deal with the water problem in places, such as Anyarko in the Keta Constituency. Mr Speaker, the Anyako water problem has been mentioned in this House on several occassions and I am sure if we would recall, the current President at a point in time, during one of his campaign tours, talked about it and that means, he himself is concerned about the problem. I am very confident that he would address that problem -- where ex- President Mahama ended, he would continue from that point for the people of Anyako to get potable water --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member, please, conclude.

Speaker
Mr Quashigah

Mr Speaker, if I do not commend one of the giants of this House, then I would not be fair. He was the former Second Deputy Speaker of this House during the Sixth Parliament and was one time the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of this country. In his day and time as the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, he exhibited quality, capacity and maturity and when he was the Hon Second Deputy Speaker, we all can attest to the fact that he demonstrated that he was a fair man. I know he would be in this Ministry with that fairness and would ensure that all areas which have to benefit from his Ministry would do, including the Keta Constituency. Mr Speaker, I would want to thank you for the opportunity.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee? Hon Ibrahim Ahmed -- rose --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Would Leadership want to make concluding remarks at this stage? The Hon Leaders took the initiative in this matter. I would have expected that after this time, we would know their views.

Speaker
Mr Osei- Owusu

Mr Speaker, I thank you and all Hon Members for their contribution and support during the process. I am happy that one of the Reports, which has been recommended in toto has been accepted by consensus. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

The House has accordingly approved by consensus the following nominees for appointments as Hon Ministers in accordance with article 78 (1) of the Constitution: i) Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful-- Minister-designate for Commu- nications ii) Hon Joseph Kofi Adda -- Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources iii) Hon KwasiAmoako-Atta - Minister -- designate for Roads and Highways iv) Mr KwakuOforiAsiamah -- Minister-designate for Transport v) Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng -- Minister-designate for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation vi) Hon Joe Ghartey -- Minister-designate for Railways Development Hon Members, I would wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the nominees who have received parliamentary approval for appointment as Hon Ministers of State. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, we can now deal with item numbered 6, which is on page two of the Order Paper. [Pause.] --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes, Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I was labouring to catch your eye even before you put the Question on the Fourth Report. But for purposes that we may use the Hansard to correct it, on page 10, “Damango” is not in the Upper West Region. It is important that this House being a House of records, respect what information we approve. Mr Speaker, on page 10 of the Report, I beg to quote; “…Agreement of US$35m for the Damango water project in the Upper West Region”. Mr Speaker, “Damango” is in the Northern Region of Ghana. I would like to draw the attention of the Chairman to it as an appropriate amendment we should carry. Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader has just indicated that he would want us to move to item numbered 6. Mr Speaker, in this House, we all swear as Hon Members of Parliament, including the Rt Hon Speaker, to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. Mr Speaker, I would like to refer to article 104 of the 1992 Constitution, which provides, and I beg to quote:

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, Order!

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I read this relative to article 2 of the very Constitution of Ghana. What the Hon Majority Leader did when we got to the voting on this particular Motion, was to show a disrespect to this constitutional provision. It is not a football match where when one has injured players, one would pray that the referee curtails the match, then when one's players are better and healthy, one would call for a replay of the match. Mr Ambrose Dery — On a point of Order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader is filibustering, hoping that he would get all of us to suddenly fall below the number. We did not vote at the time. No harm has been caused. Now is the time to vote — [Hear! Hear!].It is a straight- forward question; do we have the numbers? Let us count and proceed according to the Constitution — [Hear! Hear!]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, we are conducting the Business of this Honourable House as of now — [Some Hon Members from the Minority side walked out of the Chamber] —

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, last Friday, at the point when we had to adjourn, the number in this House was 241 out of the 275 Members of Parliament.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, do not respond to others while they are sitting and others are standing. Order!

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the number on the side of the Majority was 148. They decided to sprint away from this Chamber as they have started doing. That is their choice. It is their choice if they want to abandon the Chamber. Let the Hon Minority Leader not mislead this country into saying that we did not have the numbers and that we only waited to have the numbers. Mr Speaker, it is most untrue, and the records would bear me out that at the point when they were leaving, we still had 148. As a matter of principle, we decided that, maybe, if we allowed some time, we would be able to bridge the gap between us and reach consensus. Mr Speaker, before coming to sit on Friday, they had indicated that Friday being the worship day for our Colleague Muslims in this House, we should endeavour to adjourn latest by 2.00 p.m. Mr Speaker, at the time we were adjourning, it read, 2.30 p.m. It was even past the normal time, which is why I entreated that in the circumstance, we take an adjournment. This is because, if we had to take a vote, it was going to take not less than two hours. We were mindful of that and that was why I entreated us, subject to your indulgence, to adjourn the House. That, indeed, is what happened and nobody should mislead himself and this country, that the Majority did not have the numbers. Mr Speaker, it looks like my Hon Colleagues want to set the ground rules anew. If that is what is intended, we shall always ferry into this Chamber, our numbers, and conduct the Business of Government and this country. If that is what they want, we will pursue them on that part — [Hear! Hear!]— But I do not think that is what we need. We need to build consensus — That is what we are minded and purposed to do in spite of what my Hon Colleague, the Minority Leader is saying. It is their choice if they want to part ways — [Hear! Hear!]

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, nobody is doubting who has parliamentary majority and nobody is questioning who the majority party is in this Parliament and in Government. But we will continue to question, respect for the laws of Ghana and the Constitution of Ghana — [Uproar] Mr Speaker, I just referred you to article 104 — I had not even finished with my submission. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu — On a point of Order. Mr Speaker, respectfully, I will refer my Hon Colleague to Standing Order 96 (1), and I beg to read: “After a question has been proposed and debated, a Member may claim to move “That the Question be now put,” and, unless it appears to Mr Speaker that the motion is an abuse of the rules of the House or an infringement of the rights of the minority, the Question “That the Question be now put” shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.”

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader? I will rule after this.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, you can rule — [Uproar] — I am not and will not abandon espousing my legal belief on this matter — [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, I referred you to a constitutional article and I will stand by it. I referred to article 104 and have just referred to article 94 (2) (g):

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Order! Hon Members, the Hon Minority Leader is reading.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, the Majority Leader is stampeding you to put the Question on an illegality. We would not be associated with that illegality.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, you have the floor.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Exactly.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, article 94 (2) (c) says: “A person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he - ” and you know by extension, that to be Minister of State, you must qualify to be Member of Parliament. It then goes further to say in (g) and I beg to quote: “is otherwise disqualified by law in force at the time of the coming into force of this Constitution, not being inconsistent with a provision of this Constitution”. So, the argument we raised in respect of the matter to which he is inviting you to proceed by our view, we would not support that illegality. Therefore, the Hon Majority Leader should not be surprised; it is illegal and it does not demonstrate respect for the laws of this country and we stand by it today. Whether to rule and they proceed, we are just drawing the attention of this House, that this House, in the conduct of its business, must be seen demonstrating respect for the provisions of the Constitution and other laws in force before the coming of this Constitution, which includes the National Service Law. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Order! Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, for the records, just like the current Minority did in the case of Hon Oti Bless and procured a waiver for him, same thing had been done by Ms Otiko Afisah Djaba. Mr Speaker, so what the Hon Minority Leader is invoking is neither here nor there. It was a complete abuse of our process -- He is a lawyer. You go to court, finish your submissions and the judge closes the case for a ruling to be made and then you now say that I have remembered something -- What is that? It should not be entertained Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Order! Order!

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, that is the item captured as 6 which is a Motion on page 2 of the Order Paper -- That is where we are Mr Speaker. So, your ruling and then the voting are all that are left to be done.

MOTIONS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, we have had a long debate on this simple matter. Hon Members, order! In the circumstances, the procedure provided in Standing Order 172 is to be followed. Clerk to Parliament, please, ensure that each Member is provided with a ballot paper containing the name of the candidate under consideration for Hon Members to report their vote in accordance with Standing Order 172 (5). -- Some Hon Members — rose --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members may respectfully remain in their seats for now. Hon Members, having indicated your votes, may I invite Members to deposit their ballot papers at the Despatch Box in an orderly manner, starting with the Majority Caucus to be followed by the Minority Caucus. Hon Members, Order! Order! Hon Members, this should not cause chaos in the House. The Clerk to Parliament and his officers, who are the administrators, are responsible for these simple processes.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, we have closed the debate. The Hon Minority Leader has been on his feet. He cannot be accommodated by our procedures once the debate has closed; yet, he insists that there is something wrong with the procedure. Mr Speaker, even though ordinarily, he should not be heard, let us grant him a window of opportunity -- [Uproar] -- so that tomorrow, he would not tell us that we have done the wrong thing. Let us listen to him, respectfully.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, the only matter before us now is the matter of the votes. I will soon explain to Hon Members the simple hitch that has occurred. I hold in my hand a sealed copy of what I signed early on. In making the photocopy, the ordinary seal of the Speaker was not clear against the white background -- [Uproar] -- [Pause]-- Hon Members, accordingly the colour of the ballot papers has been changed to green and duly stamped; they are fresh. Hon Members might come forward, row by row, and vote, starting from the Majority. [Pause] --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, you could lead from your end, while the Hon Minority Leader does same, so that we continue with the process under the guidance of the Clerk. [Interruption] -- [Pause] -- 5.30 p.m. - 6.20 p.m. -- Voting process.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

You may proceed with the counting as voting is concluded. Both Sides of the House may nominate tellers to observe the counting if they so choose. [Interruption] -- The entire House. Order! Order!

Speaker
Mr Speaker

You may start counting in our full glare. You may count it loudly. Order! Order! Order! Hon Members, the results are as follows; AYES -- 152 NOES -- 0 It is taken for granted that the rest of Hon Members present may have abstained. Hon Members, by our Standing Order 109; “No Question for decision in the House shall be proposed for determination unless there are present in the House not less than one-half of all the Members of the House, and, except otherwise provided in the Constitution, the Question proposed shall be determined by the majority of the votes of the Members present and voting” The condition is duly and accordingly satisfied. Hon Members, I congratulate Ms Otiko A. Djaba for having received parliamentary approval for appointment as Hon Members and Leadership, if there is nothing untoward, we will adjourn.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, we have just dealt with the last item and you have pronounced the results of the voting.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Order!

Speaker
Mr OKyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, 10 minutes to 7.00 o'clock, we have gone beyond 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Adjournment is in your bosom and so, you may accordingly adjourn the House till tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, any comments at this stage?

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

No!

Speaker
Mr Speaker

This Honourable House will stand adjourned till tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon. Thank you very much Hon Members.

ADJOURNMENT

The House was accordingly adjourned at 6.50 p.m. till Wednesday, 8th February, 2017 at 10.00 a.m.