Debates of 09 November 2017

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER

PRAYERS

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 8th November, 2017. Page 1, 2, 3 --

Speaker
Mr John A. Jinapor

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Yapei/Kusawgu?

Speaker
Mr Jinapor

Mr Speaker, I was present yesterday but I have been marked absent. I attended two Committee meetings. So, with your permission, I would like the Table Office to take note.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

On which page is your absence recorded?

Speaker
Mr Jinapor

Mr Speaker, page 3.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Page 3 does not have any list of absent Members.

Speaker
Mr Jinapor

Mr Speaker, I am sorry, it is on page 8 -- [Laughter.]

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Page 4, 5, 8 -- Hon Member for Yapei/Kusawgu, if you still want to complain, I think it should be on page 8.

Speaker
Mr Jinapor

Mr Speaker, I would plead that the Table Office takes note of that.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. The Table Office would take note and effect the correction accordingly.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development?

Speaker
Alhaji Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface

Mr Speaker, I rise to rectify a problem here. Hon Andrew Dari Chiwitey was in the House yesterday but he has been marked absent with permission. I was with him at a Committee meeting. So, I am surprised.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, who?

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Mr Speaker, Hon Andrew Dari Chiwitey, Hon Member for Sawla/Tuna/Kalba.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Which page, please?

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Mr Speaker, page numbered 7.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Page 8 --

Speaker
Mr Yussif Issaka Jajah

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Jajah

Mr Speaker, I was present yesterday but I have been marked absent on page 8, number 25 of the Votes and Proceedings.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Page 9,10, -- 11, 12… 22 -- Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, yesterday, I was with the Hon Minority Leader outside the jurisdiction. Whereas I managed to get to Ghana and get to the Chamber, the Hon Minority Leader could not so manage. So, certainly, he was not in the Chamber. Mr Speaker, my attention has been drawn to the effect that he has been captured as the 212 th person in the Chamber, but certainly, he was not in the Chamber, with respect. I know he is a very diligent Member of Parliament but he was not in the Chamber.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The Table Office should take note and correct this anomaly. [Pause.]

Speaker
Mr Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Tamale North?

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

Mr Speaker, I have noticed an anomaly in relation to my neighbour in the House, Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi. On page 19 of the Votes and Proceedings, it is recorded that he was at a Committee meeting, yet on page 8, it is captured that he was absent. Mr Speaker, if the Table Office could do the necessary correction.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

What is the number on page 19?

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

Mr Speaker, it is under item 2, attendance, numbered viii.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Item numbered viii, Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi?

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

Yes, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Was he in the Chamber? [Interruption.] Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Member was going to bear witness that he was in the Chamber. On this list, the following Hon Members were present. It represents those of them who were present in Plenary in the Chamber. The person could have been at the Committee level without making himself available in the Chamber. If the issue is that he was present in the Chamber, it is another matter. But to say that he saw him at a Committee meeting without bearing witness that he was in the Chamber could not be deemed that he was with us in the Chamber.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, I believe this matter should be clarified. Some Hon Members

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the situation is that if an Hon Member attends a Committee meeting and does not put in appearance in Plenary, he is captured as having been absent. I have always argued against that, but unfortunately, my position has not been carried. I believe that working with the new Standing Orders, we should factor that into our rules of procedure.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Yes, Hon Dafeamekpor?

Speaker
Mr Rockson-Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, the Hon Terlabi was here yesterday. He sat here with me and the Hon Agbodza. He might not have been here for the entire day, but he was here and participated, especially in the Maj. Mahama Trust Fund Bill, both three days ago and yesterday.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. I remember him being here the day before yesterday, but I am not sure I saw him yesterday. Yes, Hon Member for Yapei/Kusawgu?

Speaker
Mr Jinapor

Mr Speaker, you would recall that a couple of years ago, there was a publication about Members of Parliament who were always absent in Parliament. It creates the impression that one is absenting himself or herself from parliamentary duties. Mr Speaker, I am following up from the Hon Majority Leader's comment. This is because I come here and at 10.00 a.m. and I have a Committee meeting. I sit in the Committee meeting and, by the time the Committee is closed, the Plenary is closed and I am marked absent. Somebody comes, takes the list and sees that, maybe, for five days, I was not there, and the impression is created out there that I do not attend parliamentary duties. So, Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would plead with Leadership to take this issue up so that we could resolve it. If I am not there and we could put something to indicate that even though I was not at Plenary, I attended parliamentary duties, and I am sure that it would help us a bit.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. The other thing is that the record of those who were present at the Committee meeting is also there. So, if you were not in the Chamber, but you were in a parliamentary Committee meeting, that record also reflects in this Votes and Proceedings or the day after. So, one could always defend him or herself. I must confess that the publishers of Odikro approached me. I told them that when they pick the list, they should talk to the persons involved. They might have reasons and explanations. I, personally, have been going for official trips without signing for myself a leave of absent form. I noticed that I was marked absent, even though I was on official assignment, not with permission. I cannot blame anybody. I should have done that. But sometimes, if people are asked before the publication, they could explain their absence. Hon Minority Chief Whip, did you want to say something?

Speaker
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka

Mr Speaker, I believe this House must take this very seriously. If you would remember, there was a decision by Leadership that no Committee should sit during the time of Plenary. We have to insist. Mr Speaker, even this morning, I was called that the House Committee would go to Tema when they had not yet come into Plenary. So, if we do not synchronise the way we would want to operate, obviously, we would continue to have these kinds of challenges. I doubt whether the House Committee which is en route to Tema, would finish whatever they are going to do, and get back to meet the House still in Plenary. So, we have to insist, and this must come from the Secretariat, that even where the chairpersons insist on a meeting, the attention of, at least, the Whips should be drawn so that we could get those chairpersons to change the time. Mr Speaker, secondly, it is time we do well to use these biometric gadgets that we have tried to invest in to verify. It is not always the issue of whether an Hon Member was here or not. Once an Hon Member was here and he logged in and out, it would be recorded. That is more scientific than the issue of saying I have seen him walk in or I did not see him. Let us try to be more scientific in the way we do things. This is because it is not enough for one to tick names of Hon Members here and add them to the register at the mails room or for an Hon Member to come in there, write his or her name to be marked present. An Hon Member would be seated in the Chamber, and if they do not see him, they would mark him absent. However, Mr Speaker, if it is done scientifically, it clears all doubts. Even where there is doubt, we would simply go into the system and verify whether the person has clocked in and out. So, I believe that, we need to find a way of streamlining this so that we do not come back to this again.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, it is Question time. Two Questions were deferred from yesterday to today, and the Hon Minister for Health is here to answer the Questions. So, Hon Minister for Health, Question numbered 132 standing in the name of the Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Hon Member for Wa West?

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

Speaker
Minister for Health (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)(MP)

Mr Speaker, it is not very clear the particular contravention the Hon Member is seeking information on. Which section of the Public Health Act is ADONKO alleged to have contravened? It is not contained in the Question.

Speaker
Minister for Health (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)(MP)

Speaker
Minister for Health (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu)(MP)

That is why I say it is not very clear from the Question the specific section of the Public Health Act, Adonko Bitters Limited has breached. Mr Speaker, in the course of a regulator a company may in ways that would attract regulatory cautions and/or sanctions. One such matter which the FDA has handled is the news item on the “ADONKO ASEDA BASH”, a social event orgainsed by the Angel Group of Companies on Easter Monday, April 17, 2017. The FDA became aware following media reports on the 21st of April, 2017, which alleged that; i. Minors attended the event; and ii. There was excessive intoxication of patrons, leading to the loss of a life. Mr Speaker, the FDA immediately commenced investigations to ascertain the veracity of the information in the news item. Based on its preliminary findings, a letter dated 26th April, 2017, titled: GROSS

DISREGARD FOR REGULATION ON

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, the first paragraph of the Hon Minister's Answer says that the Question is not clear, but he went ahead to indicate what has been done in respect of it. Mr Speaker, that event was a public one. It has been stated that minors were allowed into a stadium and drinks were freely supplied to them and in the process, reports were made. That was why the FDA went there. Mr Speaker, I ask how the company was sanctioned. If there was no breach of any infraction, why were they sanctioned?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, kindly do a follow-up question. I am not sure of what you are doing? Did you ask a question?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I asked a question that if there was no infraction, why did the FDA go ahead? My question was how were they sanctioned? The Hon Minister had indicated how they were sanctioned. Then he said that the Question was not clear. What was not clear?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague quoted the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851), but in that Act, there are several sections. So, if he says that there is a breach of an Act I would want to know the specific section, so that I could address it specifically. Mr Speaker, notwithstanding that I did not understand what he was trying to ask of, I guessed to answer in relation to the event. I was not very sure whether that was exactly what he wanted me to do. That was why I said that.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I raised the Question because the lives of Ghanaians were at risk and minors were involved in it. Mr Speaker, is the Hon Minister telling me that his Ministry is not concerned about what happened in Kumasi?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, was any specific section breached? If there was any, tell him, if not they have taken sanctions under FDA regulations. Should that not be enough?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, one of the reasons you may see me rise up and say these things is that, the Answer to the Question has just been given to me. It is not fair that I asked a question three months ago and this is what I get. I think that it could be better. The Hon Member is the Hon Minister for Health and he wants me to show him the section. No!

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Do you still want to ask a follow-up question?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I have no further questions for the Hon Minister.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?

Speaker
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka

Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister whether the purported publication of 21st April, 2017, that alleged that minors attended the event, and that there was excessive intoxication of patrons leading to the loss of lives, is true.

Speaker
Mr Agyeman- Manu

Mr Speaker, yes, the investigations continued. The report I had did not indicate minors. What was contained in the report was such that there were people who were lying down and the suspicion was that they were drunk. Mr Speaker, the investigators followed up to hospitals nearby to find out what cases were reported to these hospitals after the incident. They did not find cases of people getting intoxicated and having been brought to the hospital for resuscitation. Mr Speaker, what they found was that, people were brought in there and they were

Speaker
Mr Agyeman- Manu

treated for minor bruises and injuries that indicated a rush to get out of a place. Mr Speaker, there was a loss of life, but the report indicated that there was no autopsy report to indicate what actually caused it. The investigator's suspicion was that that person's death would not come from intoxication, but it looked like people had beaten him to death. Since there was no autopsy report, I could not really take that, and I did not also believe that it could be a relevant portion of the Answer to this particular Question.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, let us put it this way. What offence resulted in that sanction?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

It is the same thing that I tried to recapture. So, what offence did they commit to attract such a sanction? Yes, Hon Minister?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I believe the Question is answered partly even in the Answer that I have written. Mr Speaker, when the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) approves of one's product, they look at bottling -- the type of bottle one sends there for approval. They look at labelling -- the type of labelling that one sends there for approval and several other things. When they did the investigations, they realised that, the bottles they found at the scene of the incident were not the bottles they had approved for Adonko Bitters Limited to use, and I mentioned it in the Answer. Mr Speaker, again, the labels they had were not the approved labels. Also, they were not submitting batch numbers from time to time for them to produce continuous testing to ensure that they are actually selling the concoction for which they have been approved. It was on these bases that they levied the administrative charge of GH¢ 25,000 and cautioned them to go and regularise -- change them to what they have. They imposed on them an obligation that thence, anytime they would want to do something, they should bring their labels for them to see before they take their products to the market. Mr Speaker, therefore, invariably, they had breached some sections of the Act, and that was what we had put here in the Answer.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minister?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, whatever guidelines we could have given are contained in the Act. When there is a law that actually spells out what one should do, I do not see what guidelines are needed again. Mr Speaker, in fact, what the FDA and the Ministry thought at the time was that, the management of Adonko Bitters Limited needed a little bit more of an education on the law and the obligations we put on them when giving them the license. So, after the incident the FDA organised a training for the management and staff of Adonko Bitters Limited to ensure that they complied with the sections of the law. I have put it in the Answer.

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

All right, Hon Member, I would give you the last opportunity and come to Leadership. Mr Speaker, I am a little bit confused with the Hon Minister's Answer. It says that the company has not contravened any law, but in his own Answer, he said that the company was supposed to periodically submit some documentations to FDA, which they did not do, and that was why they were surcharged with GH¢ 25,000, if I heard him right. Mr Speaker, this means that there was a contravention, and so I would want to ask the Hon Minister --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

He has answered that Question. I actually asked him of the offence for which they were punished, and he told us. Yes, Hon Majority Leader, do you want to ask a question?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the Answer the Minister has provided to the Question which is and with your permission, I quote: “To ask the Minister for Health how the Food and Drugs Authority sanctioned Adonko Bitters Limited when the company contravened the Public Health Act, 2012, (Act 851)” Mr Speaker, the Answer the Hon Minister has provided indicates that the company was sanctioned for some administrative lapses with respect to the bottling, the submission of labels and also batch numbers. These are administrative issues. The question from the Hon Colleague is how the FDA sanctioned Adonko Bitters Limited, when the company contravened the Public Health Act. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has related to the “Adonko Aseda Bash”, which resulted in some infractions. Mr Speaker, the question to the Hon Minister is, if a company manufactures an alcoholic beverage and people go to organise a bash or a dance and people overconsume such that it results in casualties is it the company that is held liable or the organisers of the event?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, is this not seeking an opinion?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, this is because the Hon Minister indicated that he was not too sure of the intent of the Question. Now, the issue related to, perhaps, the overconsumption of alcohol at that event. I am asking if there is an overconsumption of the product, is it the manufacturer of that product that is held liable or the organisers of the event. Mr Speaker, that occasioned the Hon Minister to say that he was not too clear about the intent of the Question. So, I am bringing the Hon Minister back home to respond to that.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minister, if you have an answer, then we would like to know.

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I thought that I was answering very difficult questions first, so that in the last minute, I would do the easy ones. Unfortunately, this seems to be a very difficult Question for me. Mr Speaker, like I said early on, I was a bit confused with the intent of the Question, and that was what I minuted in the first paragraph of my Answer. Mr Speaker, going on, after my investigations, I realised that there were some licensing regulations that the Company should have abided by, and I decided to bring out what exactly we did to the Company and that prompted us to look at the practice the manufacturer was undertaking to actually manufacture and market their products, and that was why we came up with these things. Apparently, with event organisation and minors attending events, I would not think to put it under the remit of the Ministry of Health; it should have actually gone to the Hon Minister for the Interior, who would ensure that those who do not qualify to attend certain events should not be there. Mr Speaker, I do not think this should be a question for the Hon Minister for Health.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, can you tell who organised the bash?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I am afraid I would not be able to tell you this. I may have to guess, and I am not very sure who actually organised it.

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I thought you had abandoned your question that is why I went to the Hon Leaders, but I would give you the opportunity.

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, he talked about how the bottles that were left on the scene were improperly labelled. Mr Speaker, if we look at Act 851, under sections 112 and 113, it talks about standards. Clearly, the Act talks about deception in the advertisement of such products. So, Mr Speaker, I wonder if the Hon Minister has adverted his mind to that provision under the Act, and whether Adonko Bitters does not contravene the provisions as contained in that Section of the Act. Indeed, do they not qualify to be sanctioned?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

If I understand what has been provided there, that is what they did. They found that the bottle approved was not what was used to sell the product, and the labelling was different. So, that is what it is. That is the Answer he has provided. That is why they have been sanctioned. Unless I do not understand your question.

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

Mr Speaker, unfortunately, it seems so because in his first Answer, the Hon Minister said he failed to see the particular provision of the Act that the Hon Member who asked the Question referred to. So, the sanction that was carried out related to Regulations under the FDA, and not under the Act. According to him, in his Answer, he failed to see the particular section of the Act that was contravened, but he found some remedy, per his Answer, in the Regulations of the FDA, which was applied. So, I would just draw the Hon Minister's attention to Section 112 and 113 of Act 851 --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Kindly read the specific part of section 112 of Act 851, which you consider to have been breached, so that the Hon Minister would respond.

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

Mr Speaker, he is the Hon Minister. I thought that he could educate us more on this.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You are an Hon Member of Parliament, and you are asking the question. Read that and confront him with the specific --

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

Mr Speaker, I will go to it quickly. It is a bulky document, but if you would just give me a minute, I am sure I would locate it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, when you are ready, read --

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

I have it here, Mr Speaker. Section 111 says in part: “A person commits an offence if that person sells a drug, herbal medicinal products, cosmetics, medical devices or household chemical substances which (a) has in or on its substance that may cause injury to the health of the user when the article is used…”

Speaker
Mr Speaker, section 112 (1) states

“Where a standard is prescribed for a drug, herbal medicinal product, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance, a person who manufactures, labels, packages, sells or advertises any other substance in a manner that it is likely to be mistaken for that drug, product, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance commits an offence unless the substance is the drug, herbal medicinal product, cosmetic …” Then it goes on to section 113. Mr Speaker, we know that Adonko is labelled as bitters, and is advertised as a herbal medicine sometimes. That is the reason I believe it is important that the Hon Minister speaks to this matter.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, is Adonko registered as a herbal medicine?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, so far as I am concerned and I am aware, Adonko is not registered as a herbal medicine; it is registered as an alcoholic beverage.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Question number 146 -- Hon Yieleh Chireh? Removal of Dr Thomas Anaba from Office Q. 146. Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh asked the Minister for Health why the Medical Director of the Ridge Hospital, Dr Thomas Anaba, was removed from office.

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, Dr Thomas Anaba assumed office at the Ridge Hospital on secondment from the University of Development Studies (UDS). On completion of the Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the hospital and the subsequent handing over of the facility to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), it was realised that the Contractor had to hand over to a permanent Ghana Health Service staff as CEO for obvious reasons. Dr Anaba was therefore asked to resume his permanent office at the UDS where he was seconded from, to the Ridge Hospital.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, did the Hon Minister say that Dr Anaba was not interviewed by the GHS and appointed as the Director of that medical facility?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, Dr Anaba was interviewed by GHS, but he refused to cede relationship with his employer; he continued to draw salaries from UDS. He was on secondment, and he could have been recalled at any point in time. Therefore we needed to train a permanent GHS staff, who would continue to be in the hospital all the times.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister if the person who replaced Dr Anaba has been trained for this particular assignment?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, that is for another Question. Let us stay with Dr Anaba.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister if he is sure that Dr Anaba was seconded, and not that he had left UDS to become the Director of Ridge Hospital.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Why must you repeat the Question? If he says he is sure, would that change anything from what he has told you already? Kindly ask another question, please.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I do not have any other question.

Speaker
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister for Health why Dr Anaba has gone back to UDS?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I would crave your indulgence to thank my Hon Colleague for Bodi for assisting me to answer the Question. Mr Speaker, I believe he has answered the Question for me.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

He did not speak into the microphone, so we did not hear what he said.

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I have said in the Answer that Dr Anaba was seconded from UDS. As such, we had to ask him to go back, so we could train a permanent staff who would always man the hospital to the level that the GHS and the Ministry would want the place to be.

Speaker
Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi

Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, he said Dr Anaba draws salary from the UDS, and that was one of the reasons he was sent back.

Speaker
Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I assumed Office as the Hon Minister for Health in the early part of this year and I met Dr Anaba as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital. Documentation in the Ministry would not give me information to enable me answer the question he is specifically asked. The documentation I have is on Dr Anaba having assumed office on secondment, and that is what officially I can disclose for now. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Boamah, do you still want to ask your question?

Speaker
Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah

Mr Speaker, it was not a question but I saw Hon Joe Ghartey's name on the —

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Manhyia North?

Speaker
Mr Collins Owusu Amankwah

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would want to find out from the Hon Minister whether the Ministry is prepared to sanction Dr Anaba. This is because he is on record to have said that his transfer was politically motivated, and it was witch- hunting. So, I would want to know from the Hon Minister whether the Ministry is prepared to sanction him if this was the sole reason why he was transferred.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, that question is declined. The last one before I come to the Leadership.

Speaker
Mr Sayibu

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I wish to ask the Hon Minister if he is aware that Dr Anaba went through the Public Services Commission and the Ghana Health Service, and was given an appointment and a contract for four years renewable.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minister?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, yes, I am aware.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Asawase?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I would like to correct an impression. Dr Anaba's appointment was on contract for two years, but not for four years though renewable.

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I cannot conjecture into the future. I do not think I would be able to answer this question.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, let us be clear. What the Hon Member is trying to find out is that, while he was on this contract, he was still an appointee of the university and drawing his conditions of service from the hospital. Is that the point?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Yes, Mr Speaker. The situation of Dr Anaba and the Ridge Hospital is a bit unique. If the hospital had not been refurbished and were running the old hospital, there would not have been the need for the Hon Minister to have requested Dr Anaba to get back to the UDS. Now, a new hospital had been put up by a turkey contractor. The contractor was preparing to hand over the facility, we fixed new equipment and everything in the place was neat. Therefore, the contractor needed to actually train a CEO, who would handle the place to take it through whatever it would be, to enable us maintain standards in the hospital. The fear was that somebody on secondment, if he were to be called after we had trained and wanted to maintain him, what would have happened? That is what actually informed the decision to request Dr Anaba to get back to the UDS to enable us put a permanent Ghana Health Service staff in place. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, Dr Anaba's contract would have come to an end after two years. After that what would have happened? Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Leader, you know the rules. You cannot ask speculative questions. You earlier said that he had terminated his appointment based on speculation. I waited for you to say which speculation was the basis. The Answer he gave us was that they wanted a permanent staff. Whether that is your definition of speculation, I do not know. The last thing about whether he would have lived is speculative. So, ask a specific question with reference to article 296, so we could go on.

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, Ridge Hospital is a bit different from the other teaching hospitals that we have. The equipment that we have in Ridge Hospital cannot be found in any other hospital in this country. They are quite sophisticated, and we need somebody who knows how to use the machines to train -- Therefore, the engineers, who came to fix them, needed somebody they thought would permanently sit in the facility before they gave the training. That is what informed the decision.

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, what was your reason? You kept adding on matters, that, in my view, were peripheral. You gave a reason in the Answer that you wanted permanent staff, but added new machines and others; that threw in peripheral matters, which do not constitute the answer. Hon Minister, what were your reasons, so that we cut out peripherals?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I think I have answered the Question quite sufficiently, but my Hon Colleague would just want me to continue, and that brought these issues. I have mentioned the permanency of the top management person, who might not necessarily run the machine, but would lead a team to do these things. A major reason was that we needed a permanent person who was there, and we were very sure he would continue to be there for a long period. That is how we brought in the person we have signed on to work for us permanently. Therefore, we could not have agreed on Dr Anaba to sit there, knowing very well that in two years, it would have to be determined whether he would continue to stay.

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, we are still exploring the financial implications of the arrangement that the Ghana Health Service had with Dr Anaba. We have not come to a determination yet.

Speaker
Mr Moses Anim

Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister if this was the first time the Ghana Health Service had taken such an action?

Speaker
Mr Agyeman-Manu

Mr Speaker, I am aware a CEO's contract, in one of the teaching hospitals, was terminated in earlier times; but because this particular Question did not relate to that incident, I did not want to answer it with historical events. That is why I did not mention that. Mr Speaker, but it has happened before in the Ministry. Dr Nsiah-Asare had his appointment terminated at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, and Dr Frimpong Boateng's appointment was also terminated under circumstances we never understood. However, that was not the major concern of this Question.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, that is the end of Question time. Hon Minister, kindly leave that chair, so I could continue. At the Commencement of Public Business, Presentation of Papers. Hon Majority Leader, is the Report listed under item numbered 5 ready?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, it is not ready.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Are we ready to take the Motion -- item numbered 6?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I would plead with us to vary the order of Business, and rather go to item numbered 7 on page 3 of the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Item numbered 7, Motion -- Minister for Defence?

BILLS -- THIRD READING

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, we would deal with item numbered 12, which is on page 9 of the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, item numbered 12; Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017, at the Consideration Stage.

BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ben Abdallah Banda)

Mr Speaker, last week, we started the debate on clause 19, but same was not concluded. It appears that everything is in order now. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 19, subclause (2), delete and insert the following: “(2) The Board shall, in consultation with the Special Prosecutor designate a person appointed under section 20 as secretary to head the secretariat.” Mr Speaker, that would be the new rendition. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 19 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, we have put the Question on the clause 20 already. Clause 21 -- Funds of the Office.

Speaker
Mr Rockson-Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 21, opening phrase, after “Office” insert “shall”.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I appreciate the issue raised by my Hon Colleague, but he would understand that the style these days, is to construct a section in the present tense. Mr Speaker, “The funds of the Office include” and “shall include” is about the same, except that “shall” is futuristic. We would want to move away from that, so that it would be “The funds of the Office include” as we have strung out in clause 21, paragraphs (a) and (b), and it is expected to include (c). Mr Speaker, I believe my Hon Colleague would be persuaded to withdraw the amendment that he filed.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, pursuant to the submission by the Hon Majority Leader, I would accordingly withdraw the proposed amendment.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Leave granted that the proposed amendment be withdrawn. Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, there is another proposed amendment, which stands in your name. I have realised that it also has asterisk.

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, clause 21, item numbered 12 (iii) on the Order Paper would be according withdrawn as well.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Clause 21, item numbered 12 (iii) has been withdrawn. Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 21, add the following new paragraph: “(b) Internally Generated Funds; and”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be

“The funds of the Office include (a) moneys approved by Parliament; (b) Internally Generated Funds; and donations, grants approved by the Minster responsible for Finance.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So, this insertion would be after paragraph (a).

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Chairman of the Committee proposed this new paragraph “Internally Generated Funds”, which may come with “and” or without “and”, depending on where it is placed. I guess that one could be left with the draft persons. Otherwise, one would say that because it would introduce paragraph (b), we would have to delete it in paragraph (a). So, once we appreciate it that it should be added, where to place “and” and where to delete it from would be left with the draftspersons.

Speaker
Mr James Agalga

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Ranking Member?

Speaker
Mr Agalga

Mr Speaker, I find the paragraph (b) problematic even though -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, we would come to that.

Speaker
Mr Agalga

Mr Speaker, that is all right. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well.

Speaker
Mr Mahama Ayariga

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Ayariga?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, this is a body meant to fight corruption, and we all know that we would want to do everything to protect it from inappropriate influences. Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Chairman to give me the conditions under which a body like this would be generating funds internally. At least, it should be part of the argument why he is amending it at this stage, in moving that we should insert “Internally Generated Funds” as one of its sources of funding. We should have that stated as the reason we should accept this amendment. And so he should let us know under what conditions an anti-corruption agency would be generating funds internally.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, it is worthy to note that one of the objects of the Office is to recover the proceeds of corruption and corruption-related offences. And under section 69 of the Bill, a percentage of proceeds recovered from corruption and corruption-related offences is paid or given to the Office of the Special Prosecutor, pursuant to the efforts of the Office of the Special Prosecutor in successfully prosecuting a corruption offence or corruption-related offence. Specifically, it is 40 per cent of the proceeds that is given by the court to the Office of the Special Prosecutor, and that is ably captured in section 69 (1) of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, if we look at the subsequent amendment that is being proposed, there is a proposal to specifically mention clause 69 (1) as a further amendment to the clause 4 specificity, that statutory share of proceeds of realisable property, so that we are clear what exactly that source is, giving that to say, “Internally Generated Funds” could result in a situation where tomorrow, the organisation can embark on all sorts of activities and say that by law, they are permitted to internally generate funds without indicating exactly what limitations Internally Generated Funds entails. That is why the further amendment rather prefers that we be specific that clause 69 (1) provides a mechanism for raising funds for the organisation. But a broad term such as “Internally Generated Fund” could mean that they could start doing consultations et cetera and that could be a bit problematic for us in the future. Mr Speaker, I would prefer that we rather take the specific mention of the realisable property under clause 61(c) as a further amendment than to just leave it at Internally Generated Funds.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the order of dealing with amendments is to deal with one at a time. This one has come up for debate and so let us deal with it. We are providing further amplification in the ensuing one. Mr Speaker, but this is not the first time we are crafting Bills in this House, and with this in mind, we have always left it,

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, the next amendment?

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, if I may save the House some time, so that all the proposed amendments with asterisks which have been dealt with during the winnowing stage yesternight be accordingly withdrawn so that we can make progress. Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, item numbered (vi) which stands in the name of Hon Haruna Iddrisu.

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor (on behalf of Mr Haruna Iddrisu)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 21, paragraph (b), line 2, at end, add “in consultation with the Attorney-General”.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, we have no objection to this. Once it is the Attorney- General who is ceding an aspect of a prosecutorial powers to the Office of the Special Prosecutor, we agree to this proposition.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

And so the new rendition would be?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, the new rendition would then read: “(b)donations and grants approved by the Minister responsible for Finance in consultation with the Attorney-General”.

Speaker
Mr Agalga

Mr Speaker, in my view, clause 21 paragraph (b) in its entirety is problematic. We are here talking about donations and grants to be approved by a Minister for an anti-corruption agency. Mr Speaker, if we look at the nature of the work of the Special Prosecutor, I shudder to think that if we allow them to receive donations and grants in the final analysis, somebody could read some meanings into concluding that maybe, the one who is responsible for the donations and grants is probably seeking a favour from the Special Prosecutor. All the work of the Special Prosecutor could be compromised altogether.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Member has raised an issue that came before the Committee, and indeed, even at the winnowing yesterday, we said to ourselves that yes, we could have some technical assistance coming from anti- corruption agencies such as the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) or the various Chapters of the United Nations. They have been assisting various countries in this manner. And so it is important that we make a distinction. Mr Speaker, I agree that maybe, an individual or a person who may be suspicious of perhaps registering on the radar of the Office of the Special Prosecutor may, in anticipation of such an event, make a donation which perhaps would then stand him or her in good stead if they should appear before the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, we want to safeguard this. It is the reason we are asking that it should meet the approval of both the Minister for Finance and the Attorney-General, and we expect that two of them would, of course, together with the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Special Prosecutor do what is right. Mr Speaker, so what we decided to do though, was to delete “donations” and leave “grants approved by the Minister responsible for Finance in consultation with the Attorney-General.” Mr Speaker, having said that, I believe it is also important to go back in dealing with this. On the very outset, I had insisted that we are dealing with the “Attorney- General” and not his or her capacity as a Minister. So, wherever “Minister” is mentioned to refer to the “Attorney- General”, we should rather use the construction “Attorney-General” and not “Minister”. This is because it is the Attorney- General, who under article 88 of the 1992 Constitution, is assigning responsibility to the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Yes, Hon available Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, I do agree that these institutions often require technical assistance to build their capacity. But technical assistance is not the same as “donations” and “grants”. [Interruption.] Technical assistance may not even necessarily be “grants”. So, in my opinion, as much as we can, given the peculiar character of this institution, we should commit as a country to fully fund this institution. Mr Speaker, let us go to the records; how much even comes as grants to some of these institutions? The peculiar character of this institution is not to just pursue public officers of the Republic of Ghana but also private sector operators, some of whom could be multi-nationals and other locals. As multi-nationals, they could actually be originating from the countries where these donations and grants --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, we have gone past the principles so let us focus on the amendment. Are you proposing an amendment to this clause. Otherwise I would want to put the Question?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, I believe the essence of Hon Agalga's position is that we should delete the entire clause and leave out the possibility --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

If he moves an amendment, we would consider it. So far, he has only given the principles and you are continuing in that direction. We have gone past that so let us focus on the amendment.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, so with your leave, we would look for a further amendment to proceed with that one.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, no. We further delete “donations” and leave “grants” -- we are meeting them halfway. [Laughter.] This is because “grants” is understood. The Hon Member emphasised the point that if in future there is some litigation over whether grants should be accepted or not, our debate in this House today would serve as a guide to the Judiciary, that by “grants”, we are referring to grants in the nature of financing of technical assistance to the institution. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I would want to understand you. Have you dropped the proposed amendment?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, yes. I believe the Hon Majority Leader indicated that he had earlier moved that we should delete “donations” and leave “grants” so I support that amendment.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well.

Speaker
Mr Boamah

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Boamah?

Speaker
Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah

Mr Speaker, I need some clarification on why “donations” ought to be deleted. In the argument that my Hon Friend for Bawku Central advanced, he sought to link “donations” to moneys coming from outside Ghana. So, if a state institution like Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) decides to support the Office of the Special Prosecutor, how are they going to receive such donation since it is not going to be a grant? So, I would want to understand why that wording is being deleted.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Boamah, you are opposed to the removal of “donations” because Ghanaian agencies may want to support.

Speaker
Mr Boamah

Rightly so, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, we would want to move away from the principles. You have made your point -- you think that “donations” should be left to stay.

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, I am in support of the present amendment being proposed because at the Committee level, these debates were engendered and we came to the understanding that sometimes, the grants may even come in the form of equipment for purposes of monitoring and surveillance, so it may not necessarily be cash. Therefore, I am in support of the amendment as proposed by the Hon Majority Leader, that “donations” should give way so that we leave “grants”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I should put the Question now for “donations” to be deleted from the new formulation. The new rendition would be: “grants approved by the Minister responsible for Finance in consultation with the Attorney- General.” Is that right, Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Yes, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 21 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 22 -- Bank account. Hon Members, there are two proposed amendments which are to be deleted. So, leave is granted for clause 22 (vii) and (viii) to be deleted. Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 22, subclause (2), line 3, delete “Criminal” and insert “Office of the Special Prosecutor”. The new rendition would read as follows: “Without limiting subsection (1), the Office shall with the approval of the Controller and Accountant-General open a separate account known as the Office of the Special Prosecutor Assets Recovery Account into which shall be paid moneys derived from the execution of confiscation and forfeiture orders made under this Act.” Mr Speaker, the reason is that qualifying “Criminal” with Assets Recovery appears too demeaning or belittling and that is the reason we are deleting “Criminal” and in its place inserting “Office of the Special Prosecutor”. It is to also bring clarity and certainty to the provision.

Speaker
Mr Agalga

Mr Speaker, I do not find the justification very convincing. Mr Speaker, my reason is that before assets could be recovered by the Special Prosecutor, the determination would have been made that those assets were acquired through criminal means. So, for me, the original rendition here, is correct but what is really the difference? if we delete and replace that with “Office of the Special Prosecutor” --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The difference may be that the Attorney- General has other prosecutorial powers which may be exercised and they may exercise that to create other accounts. Under the Economic Organised Crime Office (EOCO), they recover Trust. So, we would want to identify that this belongs to the Office of the Special Prosecutor. It may not be demeaning as such but to brand it as belonging to the Office of the Special Prosecutor, that would be sufficient, would it not? Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 23, line 2, delete “and subsection (1) of section 69”

Speaker
Mr Speaker, so, the new rendition reads

“The expenses of the Office shall be paid from moneys provided for the Office under section 21. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 23 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill Clause 24 -- Accounts and audit

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 24, subclause (1), line 1, before “books” insert “the” and also delete “proper”

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition reads

“The Board shall keep the books of accounts and records in the form approved by the Attorney-General” Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 24, subclause (2), line 2, delete “within three months after” and insert “at”

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition reads

“The Board shall submit the accounts of the Office to the Auditor-General for audit at the end of the financial year”.

Speaker
Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah

Mr Speaker, I think that it should remain as it is. This is because usually, the accounts are prepared after the end of the year. It is not prepared at the financial year and so within three months after the year, they can then prepare the accounts and submit to the Auditor-General. So, I think that it should remain as it is.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yesterday, we had this debate and referred to the Constitution to resolve the matter.

Speaker
Mr Benjamin Komla Kpodo

Mr Speaker, I think what my Hon Colleague said is right. Normally, at the end of the year, it takes a bit of time to put the records together before preparing the accounts. So, normally, three months is given at the end of March and then the accounts are handed over to the Auditor-General who also takes three months to do it by the end of June. That is the normal process for all Government of Ghana (GoG) accounts. So, I think the initial rendition should be maintained.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, unfortunately, my two Hon Colleagues are sending us back. Yesterday, we resorted to the Constitution and the position is clear that the Auditor-General requires to deal with the auditing of accounts within six months at the end of the immediately preceding financial year. By this construct, we are limiting the Auditor-General to a three months operation and that is not right and offensive to the constitutional provision. The Constitution makes it clear that at the end for the year, assets should be afforded to the Auditor-General in respect of auditing accounts. The Constitution does not say that we should require three months to do it and submit it to the Auditor-General who would then take three months to do the auditing. Mr Speaker, the Constitution envisages the Auditor-General to spend not more than six months in the audit of the reports. Mr Speaker, so, that is how it is and we have gone beyond that. I am not too sure that my Hon Colleagues should be afforded the opportunity to send us back to the stone age.

Speaker
Mr Kpodo

Mr Speaker, the Constitution gives directives or makes provisions for these things but the enabling Act gives flesh to the provisions of the Constitution. So, in practice, that is what happens that we have to do cut-off procedures at the end fo the year. So, nobody can present a set of financial statements on 31st December. It is not possible. So, one takes three months to do the accounts and then the Auditor- General cannot start work when the accounts have not been completed. That is why we make the provision that three months, do the accounts, and then the next three months, the Auditor-General also does it. It adds up to the six months that we are alluding to.

Speaker
Mr Bernard Ahiafor

Mr Speaker, the year ends as at 31st December. If we are asking the Board to submit the accounts as at 31st December, by the time that the year is ending, how are they going to do that particular accounts for submission? So, there is a practical difficulty here and, it can only be resolved by giving the Board three months in the ensuing year to submit the accounts to the Auditor- General.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, let me hear you.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, the language of the Constitution is very clear. It says that the Auditor-General should be afforded access to the accounts and audit the accounts within six months. That is the beginning from the end of the immediately preceding financial year. Mr Speaker, may I draw my Hon Colleague's attention to our Standing Orders that the Constitution is an official document and so the answer is there. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, but with respect to him, it is article 187 (5) of the Constitution. So, yes, there is a practical difficulty and I acknowledge that, we cannot imperil the Auditor-General by saying that he has just three months to do the auditing. So, let us leave it and we may know that they would be talking behind the curtains, but we cannot circumvent the Constitution and say that we know that they require three months to do their reporting. That would rather be offensive to the Constitution. Mr Speaker, even before my Hon Colleague finishes reading, he says that it is not but he has not even finished reading.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Takoradi?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I think that this matter should be debated properly. This constitutional requirement is on the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General shall submit accounts within six months. Hon Members, but over here, we are giving a responsibility and a deadline to the Board of the agency and we are saying that within three months their accounts must be ready. That does not in any way derogate the Auditor-General's responsibility under the Constitution and it does not stop the Auditor-General from finishing his work within six months. This is because there is activity up till the 31st of December of every year and an account could not be concluded until the end of the year. Therefore, it is proper that we give the agency the time within which to prepare and submit the accounts so that the Auditor-General would also be able to do his work within the constitutional requirement of six months. I think that is how we should interpret this clause.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, I think that you have sorted out the problem for the House, that we must realise that there are two responsibilities here; the internal responsibility of the Board to make sure that the audited accounts are ready and available and the time frame is within three months. Then the subsequent clause gives the Auditor-General an additional three months which is obviously in recognition of the constitutional imperative, that it has to be six months within which the Auditor-General must finish his work. So, I think as Mr Speaker has drawn our attention to it, we must be mindful of who is being curtailed in terms of the responsibility to act within a certain time frame in clause 24 (2). This clause is dealing with “The Board shall …” and so the obligation is on the Board to make sure that the audited accounts are available within three months. The subsequent clause then says that the Auditor-General should make sure that they also finish their job within the next three months following the dates they receive the report. Mr Speaker, to the extent that clause 24 (3) says: “The Auditor-General shall, not later than three months, after the receipt of the accounts, audit the accounts and forward a copy of the audit report to the Minister.” Mr Speaker, if the Board makes the accounts available in February then what that means is that, we would have restricted the Auditor-General. This is because “within three months” after February would then not be six months, and in which case we would have impaired the Auditor-General, because we would have restricted them to a time period below six months, which is what the Constitution has granted them the authorisation to do. So, to some extent, we would need to look at this provision in trying to ensure that within three months the Board would do its work, but the rendition does not preclude a situation where the Auditor- General would be restricted though the Constitution gives the Auditor-General up to six months at the end of the year to complete the work.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Asante Akyem Central?

Speaker
Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to support the amendment proposed by the Hon Chairman and I say so because the language as it is couched now; “… at the end of the financial year”, it does not mean that it should be exactly on 31st December. Further, there is an intention to amend -- Mr Speaker, if we look at item numbered (xv), we would be deleting the “three months” that is at subclause (3) of clause 24 and inserting the fact that “within six months” the Auditor-General shall complete the accounts. Mr Speaker, this would be in accordance with the requirement of the Constitution that the Auditor-General is to work within six months. When the Constitution has already given the Auditor-General a timeline of six months to operate within, we cannot be sharing the six months into three months for the Board and three months' for the Auditor-General. At the end of the financial year, the Board is to submit the account and the Auditor-General is to work within the six months' period. Mr Speaker, I do not think that we would have to tie them up on how they do it by giving a timeline, this is because we would be going contrary to the Constitutional requirement. At the end of the financial year, we would give them ample time but they must operate within a time in such a way that the Auditor- General would be given the duration that had been offered them in the Constitution. Mr Speaker, so, I think that this amendment is proper and so I support it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Amoatey?

Speaker
Mr Magnus K. Amoatey

Mr Speaker, thank you. Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague from Asante Akyem Central just made reference to the financial year and I would want to draw his attention to clause 22 (3) which referred to the Public Financial Management Act of 2016 (Act 921). Mr Speaker, in this Act, the financial year of the country is clearly spelt out; from 1st January to 31st December. There is no departure from that. There could be no revision to that time stipulated in this Act. If we are talking of the end of the financial year, in clause 24 (2), we are looking at three months after the end of the financial year, which may take us up to 31st March or thereabout. Mr Speaker, the combined effect of clauses 24 (2) and (3) works up to what the Hon Majority Leader is canvasing for: within six months, which would be in accord with the Constitution -- article187 (5); within six months.

Speaker
Mr Magnus K. Amoatey

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, our attention has been drawn to the resolution of this problem. We are probably not paying attention. If we look at the proposed amendments numbered (xiii) and (xv), the combined effects of those two amendments would resolve this problem. So, if we debate (xii) alone in isolation, we would have a problem. We may not really appreciate that it has been resolved by a subsequent amendment. Mr Speaker, so, it is important that those of us who are contributing to this debate should pay attention to the two amendments. The first amendment is to cure the problem of the three months, and the second one is to cure the subsequent restrictions that would be imposed on the Auditor-General if we maintain the current rendition. So let us read the two amendments together and this problem would be resolved.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

My problem is with the alleged restrictions. These, as they stand, do not impose any restrictions on the Auditor-General within six months. The constitutional requirement is that the Auditor-General shall, within six months after the end of the immediately preceding year, present its report to Parliament. The fact that we said that the agency should give its accounts in three months does not in any way restrain the Auditor- General. This is because the Constitution says “within six months” does not mean that necessarily, you have a six months wide gap before -- This is because, what we would be doing is that, we are not giving any space to the agency. We are not limiting them as to when they should submit their account. We just say “at the end of the year”, which we know is impracticable. So we should be careful in what we do. We did one yesterday and I keep thinking about it. If the agency says that we did not give them any timeline and it is not practicable to give an account on 1st January, what happens?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, the current rendition is problematic in the sense that, it, to some extent, offends article 185. Mr Speaker, this is how it offends that provision: Clause 24(2) says: “The Board shall submit the accounts of the Office to the Auditor-General for audit within three months after the end of the financial year.”

Speaker
Mr Speaker, that is clear enough -- within three months. Then clause 24(3) says

“The Auditor-General shall, not later than three months, after the receipt of the accounts,…” Mr Speaker, if it had said that not later than three months after the expiry of the preceding three months, then we can start counting from three months. Then that gives us six months. But it says that not later than three months after the receipt of the accounts. The argument is that, if the receipt of the account took place within a period less than three months, then we have shortened the timeframe of the Auditor-General. This is because he has three months after the receipt of the accounts. So, if the account is received in the second month; then add two months to the three months, which is five months and yet, the Constitution says six months. If the account is received one month after the end of the financial year, then add the three months within which he must also submit his audited account to the Hon Minister, which makes it four months instead of the six months. Mr Speaker, so, the current rendition which removes the restriction cures this problem. This is because it says that remove the three months limitation on the Board and then leave the Attorney- General to act in accordance with the constitutional arrangement, which is the six months. So that solves the problem if we combine the two amendments.

Speaker
Mr Kpodo

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Kpodo, we have said all that there is to say. Now, let us vote -- [Laughter.]

Speaker
Mr Kpodo

Mr Speaker, the operative word in clause 24(2) is that the Board shall submit, which is, hand over. And if they have not finished preparing it, they cannot hand it over. So, the compulsion of the Board to submit the accounts to the office of the Auditor-General on 31st is simply impracticable. It is just not there. Mr Speaker, several other Acts which we have passed in the past were framed that way. So, we cannot ask -- perhaps, we could say that, “the Board shall prepare the account of the Office of the Special Pro- secutor as at the end of the year.” We can say they should prepare all the financial reports as at the end of the year but we cannot say that they should submit such accounts at the end of the year. It is not possible. Mr Speaker, practically, if we agreed to that, we are just burying our heads like the ostrich. In fact, there are so many other Acts which follow the same procedure. That is the audit practice in government circles and companies. So, for us to sit here and say that it is possible to submit the account at the end of the year -- Mr Speaker, if we say yes to this amendment, I think we would be hanging our necks. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 24, subclause (3), lines 1 and 2, delete “not later than three months, after the receipt of the accounts” and insert “within six months after the end of the preceding financial year”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read

“The Auditor-General shall, within six months after the end of the preceding financial year, audit the accounts and forward a copy of the audit report to the Attorney- General.” Mr Speaker, I would like to propose a further amendment to this particular provision immediately. Mr Speaker, in line 2, after “forward”, delete “a copy” and insert “copies each.” Mr Speaker, after “the Attorney- General”, add “and the Board”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read

“The Auditor-General shall, within six months after the end of the preceding financial year, audit the

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read

accounts and forward copies each of the audit report to the Attorney- General and the Board.”

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, I think it should be “a copy each” instead of “copies each”. So insert “each” after “copy”.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. We should insert “a copy each”.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, just to remind the Hon Chairman that there is an omission. In the amendment proposed, before, “preceding” we should insert “immediately”. So, it would read: “…within six months after the end of the immediately preceding financial year.”

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Amoatey?

Speaker
Mr Amoatey

Mr Speaker, with respect, I have a challenge on the final responsibility as regards the amendment just proposed by the Hon Chairman in relation to “and forward a copy each to the Minister and to the Board.” Mr Speaker, if we go to clause 25, the responsibility of submission of the report is that of the Board, and it goes to the Minister. The report in clause 25 which would go to the Minister would come with the audited accounts. Mr Speaker, I believe that the Board should have the ultimate responsibility of examining the audited accounts and preparing the report thereon and forwarding it to the Minister finally.

Speaker
Mr Amoatey

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman? So, the Minister would get a copy, anyway, through the report of the Board. And so we do not need to give him a copy now.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, if you read clause 25 (3), it says: “The Minister shall, within one month after the receipt of the annual report, submit the Report to Parliament …” Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General, after the conclusion of his work, must submit two reports; one to the Board. [Interruption.] It is two copies of the same report; and one is to the Board because, when you read clause 25 (1), the Board is under the obligation, after the receipt of the audit report, to submit an annual report to the Attorney-General covering the activities and operations of the Office. Mr Speaker, this explains the rationale underlining the argument that a copy of the report shall be submitted to the Board. Mr Speaker, the second copy we are proposing to be submitted to the Minister is explained by clause 25 (3), which also says that the Attorney-General shall, within one month after the receipt of the annual report, submit the report to Parliament. It is because the Attorney-General has the responsibility or the obligation to submit a copy of the annual report to Parliament, that explains why the report must be in two copies; one to the Board and one to the Attorney-General.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I do not think that is in doubt. The issue appears to be that, what goes to the Board would eventually end with the Minister, incorporated in their report. So, the Minister might not need a copy now because the Board would give him or her a copy, anyway. That is the proposal.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Very well, Mr Speaker. That would not make any difference. I believe it is for the sake of clarity and certainty that we are saying one should go to the Minister and the other to the Board. But that would not make any difference.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, per the Constitution, the Auditor-General is obligated to submit the report to Parliament. What we are saying is just copies of the original that might have been sent to Parliament. So, we are saying that they might send copies to the Board. Indeed, if there are any infractions, the Auditor-General would be dealing with the Board to correct any infraction even before the final preparation of the document. But the final report would come to Parliament. However, just so that the Board might appreciate the final work done, a copy is to be served on the Board and a copy of the same report be served to the Minister. Mr Speaker, I do not think that this does any violation to the process. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman, amendment captured as item (xvi) is withdrawn. So, I would put the Question on the entire clause 24 as variously amended. Clause 24 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 25 -- Annual reports and other reports.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The first amendment proposed is in the name of the Hon Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 25, subclause (1), line 1, delete “one month” and insert “thirty (30) days”

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, we would want to understand why we should substitute “thirty (30) days” for “one month”.

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, the rationale is that, the submission might not occur at the beginning of the month, but the computation of the days might have to be done. That is why it brings a lot of clarity when we indicate the number of days within which they have to do so and not really speak of calendar month.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I believe in the preceding clauses that we have dealt with, whenever and wherever a month is indicated, we have amended it and stated the days. So, we have no objection to his proposed amendment.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So, 30 days has been used throughout and therefore, it should be considered.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, it is exactly so.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, what again?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, really, as I keep saying, this is a decision without difference. The only reason one may want to talk about days instead of months is that, calendar months are not uniform in their number of days. Some months have 31 days, some have 30 days and others have 29 days or 28 days sometimes. So, when we talk about one month, what month are we talking about? Mr Speaker, I think that the Interpretations Act gives us a definition of one month. So, as far as I am concerned, it is a decision without difference. Either 30 days or one month, they are more or less the same.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I think so. The only reason the Hon Chairman of the Committee supports it is that, it would make this clause to be consistent with the other clauses. So, I would continue with the vote. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 25, subclause (1), line 3, before “report” insert “annual”. So that the new rendition would read: “The Board shall within one month after the receipt of the audit report, submit an annual report to the Minister covering the activities and operations of the Office for the year to which the annual report relates.” Mr Speaker, once we are converting “months” into “days”, I would at this juncture, seek your permission to make a further amendment to clause 25, line 1, with respect to “one month”, it should be “thirty (30) days.”

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, I would want to find out whether we would also change years to months and days [Laughter.] So that anywhere we have one year, we would indicate the number of days or the number of months that constitute a year. Mr Speaker, if the practice of this House has been to use months, and month is interpreted in the Interpretations Act, it might just be neater to retain the use of the word “month.” This is because even in the Constitution, it says, months. The article that we are referring to uses the word “months”; six (6) months. So, we would want also go and interpret that? If we say days, are we talking about working days or just ordinary days? Those are all issues that are dealt with in the Interpretations Act. So, for one to want to be more specific, then we would have to go and lift what is in the Interpretations Act and then apply it. I do not have a copy of the Interpretations Act here, but I know that it is in that Act. So, let us just leave it at “month” as indicated in the original rendition.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I am the First Deputy Speaker.

Speaker
Ms Safo

You were. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, when you go into the Civil Procedure Act, when we are talking about service on a person for fourteen (14) days, when we are counting the 14 days, it is not the usual 14 days. So, these are some of the problems that if we use days, we might encounter. It would be safer if we use months per the prescription in the Constitution.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, when we talk about “months”, it is easier and convenient when the month starts on the first day to the last day, which is easier. But what about if the report is submitted somewhere in the middle of the month, maybe, on the 14th day or the 15th day of the month? How would the computation of the month be done? That explains why we are saying that it is more convenient, easier and more certain to use days. This is because when the report is submitted in the middle of the month, on the 13th day or the 14th day, when the computation is being done, it would be known when the period of the 30 days begins. Then we would start counting from the 13th day up to the 30th day. Mr Speaker, that is why we are saying that instead of sticking to months, let us rather use days. This is because days are more certain and clearer than months. I do not think it would be unconstitutional to use days. Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: Mr Speaker, I support the argument which is being proposed by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. In all certainty, we would all agree that in law, predictability and certainty are very important in almost every situation. So, when we have a definite number of days, it makes it easier from any day at all to calculate. But if we say, “a month”, and as the Hon Chairman of the Committee said, and the report should be submitted from the middle of the month or the second week in the month, how would it be calculated? [Interruption] -- From 14th day to 14 th day? What about if that particular month is -- when we look at the Interpretations Act, it says, “the number of days within the calendar month plus…” Mr Speaker, so it makes it difficult. I believe that if we have the number of days, it makes it more definite, certain and more predictable for all of us.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, with respect, I have already taken a vote on the earlier amendment proposed by Hon Dafeamekpor. I believe we cannot go back. So, let us make progress on that, except to remind us that, even with the 30 days, per the Interpretations Act, there is no specificity on the 30 days. If in calculating it falls on a Saturday, do we have to add the Saturday, Sunday and then go to the next succeeding working day, which would be Monday? So, 30 days is not cast in gold. Mr Speaker, so either way, we run ourselves into some problems. But because we have already agreed on that, maybe, we could make progress and go for the 30 days, even though that itself comes with a truckload of problems.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I would put the Question again. Question put and amendment agreed to. Hon Members, I believe that that is all for clause 25. Is that not so? Hon Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, you are withdrawing the next amendment numbered (xix). Are you?

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Yes, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Clause 25 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 26 -- Complaint procedure and referrals.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Dafeamekpor, the first proposed amendment numbered (xx) is in your name, and I guess that one is also withdrawn.

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, yes, it is consequential, and it is withdrawn. Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, subclause (2), line 1, delete “shall” and insert “may”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read

“The complaint referred to in subsection (1) may be made in writing or orally.” Mr Speaker, this is because it is an option, either in writing or orally, and that is why we are deleting the mandatory “shall” to make it “may”, which is optional. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, proposed amendments numbered (xxii) and (xxiii) are consequential and so leave is granted for them to be withdrawn. Amendments withdrawn by leave of the House.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, add the following new subclause: “Where the person who lodges the complaint is an illiterate, the Illiterates' Protection Act, 1951 (Cap 262) shall apply.” Mr Speaker, we all know the rationale behind that has to do with the issue of a jurat. Where the person is illiterate, there must be jurat to indicate that the content of the documents were read over and interpreted to a person and he appeared to understand the content thereof before appending a signature or thumbprint.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I would just want to confer with the Hon Chairman, if the deletion of the indefinite article “an” in line one would not serve a better purpose. It says: “Where the person who lodges the complaint is illiterate, the Illiterates' Protection Act, 1951 (Cap 262) shall apply”

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I have no objection because that is neater and better than the current rendition.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So, kindly read the new rendition.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read: “Where the person who lodges the complaint is illiterate, the Illiterates' Protection Act, 1951 (Cap 262) shall apply” Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 26 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 27 -- Officers to exercise powers of police

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Rockson-Nelson, I have granted you the leave to withdraw your proposed amendment.

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, that is so. Mr Speaker, however, the name is “Dafeamekpor”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So, it is not “Da-fea-me-kpor”. [Laughter.] We would have to take lessons later to be sure. I am sorry. Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House.

Speaker
Mr Kpodo

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Kpodo

Mr Speaker, I would just want to help you.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, his name means

“just visit the house and see”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So, it means “just visit the house and see”? But what is in the house? [Laughter.] Hon Members, we would now move on to clause 28 -- All right. I would first put the Question on clause 27. Hon Members, the amendment has been withdrawn. Clause 27 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 28 -- Request for information.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, item numbered (xxvi), by the Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, before I move the proposed amendment, I would like to seek your leave to make a further amendment to the proposed amendment. Mr Speaker, I therefore move, that the phrase, “or a representative of an entity” be deleted , leaving the proposed amendment in connection with line two, after “investigated”, insert “by the Office”. Mr Speaker, the reason is that under clause 28 (1) (a), it says a person includes a “representative of an entity”, so we believe that it is a superfluity to say “a person or a representative of an entity”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, therefore the new rendition reads

“The Special Prosecutor or an authorised officer may by notice in writing, require a. A person whose affairs are to be investigated by the Office.” Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 28, subclause (3), line 2, after “disclose”, insert “or asserts a right not to disclose”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, so the new rendition reads

“Where a person required to furnish the Office with a document is under an obligation not to disclose or asserts a right not to disclose, the Special Prosecutor shall apply to Court for an order for the production of the document.”

Speaker
Ms Safo

Mr Speaker, with the amendment that has been moved by the Hon Chairman, I would want to further propose that in line 3, before “Court” we insert the word “the” -- “apply to the Court”. As it stands now, it reads: “Where a person required to furnish the Office with a document is under an obligation not to disclose or assert a right not to disclose, the Special Prosecutor shall apply to Court …” I believe that it should read, “apply to the Court”

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon member, “the Court” suggests a definite court in mind but “Court” leaves it open. So, I do not believe “the” would make it as exactly as we would want.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, to allay the fears of the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, “Court” has been defined. “Court means High Court or Circuit Court;” So, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, please, rest assured that it has been defined. It is a blessed assurance and I know that she would want to ring -fence her position.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Does the Hon Deputy Majority Leader want to compete with the Hon Majority Leader? Yes, Hon Member for Bolga East?

Speaker
Dr Dominic A. Ayine

Mr Speaker, I rise to support the proposed amendment by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader. This is because for consistency in the legislation, we always use the definite article before “Court”. Since we are defining “Court”, a “Court” would mean either “the Circuit Court or the High Court”. So, I believe her further amendment should be upheld.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, do you want to further amend your amendment? What sayest thou?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I have no objection. Once “Court” has been defined, we know which “Court” we talk about. Whether with the definite article “the” or without it, I believe that would not make much of a difference. I have no opposition to the proposed amendment. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Item numbered (xxviii) -- Hon Chairman?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 28, subclause (6), line 1, at beginning, insert “Except as provided in subsection (3),” The new rendition reads: “Except as provided in subsection (3), where a person refuses, conceals or otherwise fails to produce a document required by the Special Prosecutor or an authorised officer, that person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than five hundred penalty units and not more than one thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than two years or to both.” Mr Speaker, the reason for the exception in relation to subclause (3) has to do with information that is privileged: lawyer-client relationship; doctor-patient relationship; bank-customer relationship. Any information bordering these, per our existing enactment, is privileged. That is why we seek to except that information.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, we just took an earlier amendment and in it, we introduced a new condition which is asserting a right not to disclose. This was not in the previous clause arrangement. Now, we have exception to the obligation to disclose any information requested of us that there are circumstances where one has a right to assert, a right not to disclose in which case the Special Prosecutor should apply to Court for the documentation. If there is a right not to disclose which can be asserted, how then do we criminalise it? Earlier, there was no such exception. Now, we have introduced it that one can assert a right not to disclose. So, if one can assert a right not to disclose, then we cannot make it a punishable criminal offence.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, the right not to disclose is subject to the decision of the court. So that if one asserts that right, the court would determine whether he is entitled to that right or not. Where one does not and yet does not disclose, then he is subject to punishment. I believe the difference is clear.

Speaker
Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoa

Mr Speaker, indeed the difference is reasonably clear. Under subclause (3) as amended, there is a certain right not to disclose as you have stated, but with the opportunity to go to Court.

Speaker
Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoa

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, the vote has been taken.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I do know that. First, two things. I worry about the ceiling which is the one thousand penalty units in the event of the gravity of an offence. So, Mr Speaker, I would plead that whereas I agree with the five hundred penalty units, the ceiling should be looked at. Then also, at various places in the Bill, there is some inconsistency in the translation of the penalty units into terms of imprisonment. So, for five hundred penalty units, here, relates to “a term of imprisonment of not less than one year”. Elsewhere, the same five hundred penalty units translates to “a term of imprisonment of not less than two years”. Then we have one thousand penalty units translating to two years and, at another place, it translates to one year. There is a lot of inconsistency in that. So, I would want us to look at that and do a reconciliation.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

In respect of the penalty units and the related prison terms, I believe we can leave it to the Attorney-General because there is a specific legal regime for that. So, they can synchronise them. But as to whether or not you would want a ceiling, that is a matter I believe we would want to hear from the policy operators. Hon Chairman and Hon Attorney- General, do you want the ceiling for the offences?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Rightly so.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Do you not want to leave that to the judge to determine depending on the circumstances?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, at all material times, for an offence and a punishment pursuant to the offence, after conviction, there has to be a minimum penalty unit, and a maximum penalty unit so that the Judge could have the flexibility to operate within the lower and the upper limits. This is because if we prescribe the lower limit without prescribing the upper limit, if one meets a Judge who intends to punish you and punish severely, the tendency is that he would mete out whatever punishment that may be astronomically not justifiable to the accused person. That explains why we are saying the lower limit and the upper limit.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, my Hon Colleague did not understand what I meant. I raised two matters; one relates to the inconsistency in the sanction regime. That is translating penalty units into terms of imprisonment. You have indicated to us what ought to be done. I agree with that. Mr Speaker, the second one relates to the request for information, which could be very incriminating. The person refuses to offer the information, and we are saying that if, maybe, the amount involved is substantial, let us say, equivalent of US$ 100 million, then the person subjects himself to a term of imprisonment of just two years, and comes back to enjoy his loot. Mr Speaker, that is what I am relating to; the ceiling should be reviewed. I have nothing against the lower range, the floor. I am just saying that given the gravity of the offence, the potentials of that offence, we may have to look at the ceiling and increase it. That is all that I am saying.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, in the ordinary Criminal Offences Act, concealment of information, documents and forgery are felonies. Is that right? Is it a felony or misdemeanour?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, it is a misdemeanour.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

What is the maximum punishment for a misdemeanour?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker is taking us back cto the court room. Mr Speaker, we would furnish the House with the information at the appropriate time. I have Act 30 here with me, so we would go -- [Interruption.]--

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

One moment, we want to be clear about something to aid the debate. This is because I think that, at least, it should not go below the minimum punishment for misdemeanour in the existing law. If you are not adding to it, at least, we should not subtract from it. -- [Pause] -- all right, I am advised that the upper limit for misdemeanour is three years. So, at least, it should reflect here. If the offence we are creating is equal to misdemeanour, then the three years should be the minimum. Then, the commensurate penalty units should also reflect. Very well, the amendment has been carried already. I will direct that the Attorney-General's Office synchronises the various penalty regimes regarding prison terms and the penalty units.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Bawku Central?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, I recall that you have not yet put the Question on clause 28. I think that we need to be clear in the definition of “offence” in clause 28 (6). It says; “Where a person refuses, conceals or otherwise fails to produce a document required by the Special Prosecutor….” I had earlier argued that we introduced an earlier amendment, which was that one can assert a right not to produce a document, in which case, one would have to go to Court to obtain an order that the document should be produced. But if we leave this rendition this way, it does not take care of that type of situation.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, that is the amendment we have just voted to introduce an exception. So, the amendment is that, except as provided in subclause (3) . . .

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

All right, thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, we have finished with (xxviii), and that is the end of the amendments to clause 28. So, I will put the Question on clause 28.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Dr Ayine

Mr Speaker, my problem is that, here, the offence being created is preliminary to the prosecution of the substantive offence of corruption. So, it is more or less procedural in the sense that in the course of the investigation, if a person conceals documents, then that person commits an offence. Now, by section 239 of Act 29, corruption itself is a misdemeanour, which means that the point you rightly raised about the limit on the punishment for misdemeanour being three years, applies as well to this one. So, for the lesser offence of concealing documents, you are being given an upper limit of three years. I think that is a bit incongruous. I think we should stick with the Hon Chairman's amendment, in order that it makes sense because we would get a lesser punishment for the concealment, and then the upper limit applies to the substantive offence of corruption.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I agree with you when you take it in bulk, but the circumstances would determine how the Judge — that is why he has the discretion from one month to three years. So, the circumstances of each case would determine. Sometimes, that concealment may be more serious than the charge of corruption itself. So, let us leave that room to the Judge. Clause 28 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 29-- Power to search and take possession of documents.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 29, subclause (1), line 3, delete “authorising a police” and insert “to an authorised” and in line 4, delete “remove” and insert “take possession of”. The new rendition reads: “The Special Prosecutor shall apply to the Court without notice to the person or entity under investigation to issue a warrant to an authorised officer to enter premises in the possession of or under the control of the specified person or entity to search and to take possession of documents specified in the application”. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Item numbered (xxx). Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I do not know whether with your leave, I would be permitted to make --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, hold on. Clause 29 has only one amendment.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Yes, Mr Speaker. I wanted to propose a further amendment.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You wanted to propose a further amendment? Very well.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 29 (1), line 3 (1), insert “any” after “enter”. The new rendition would read: “…officer to enter any premises…”

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I believe if he said “to enter a premise in the possession of”, it would be better.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I withdraw and keep “to enter premises”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Without “any”? So, are you withdrawing the proposed further amendment?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Rightly so Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, are you also withdrawing your proposed further amendment?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I did not really propose an amendment. I was thinking out loud. We debated this yesterday for a while. I am not too sure whether at the end of the fifth line, the end of the preambular, “if” rather should not read “were”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The “if” in which clause? You said “if” --

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

If ‘should' rather be deleted and “where” inserted. I would not press. We could leave it to the drafts, but I believe it should rather read “where the person or entity”. This is because “where” is both situational and conditional, but let us leave it to the drafts.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So, are you not moving an amendment?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Mr Speaker, I would want the drafts to better advise us. This is because I believe that it should rather read “where” in place of “if”. As I said, “where” is both situational and conditional. I would not press it. We would leave it to the draftspersons.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. So, I would put the Question on the entire clause 29. Clause 29 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 30 -- Seizure of tainted property.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Mr Chairman, item numbered xxx?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30 group of sections caption after clause 29, delete and insert “Search and seizure of tainted property”. Mr Speaker, clause 30 specifically relates to search and seizure of tainted property. That explains why we are deleting and inserting “Search and seizure of tainted property”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I do not understand you, kindly explain further. Which clause or subclause are we amending?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, we are deleting before clause 30, “Proceeds of Corruption and Corruption Related Offences” and in place of that, substituting “Search and seizure of tainted property”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

That is in the sub-heading. It is the headnote and not clause 30. That is where the confusion came from. Very well. Hon Members, are we all ad idem with what we are doing?

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, if I may indulge you, “Proceeds of Corruption and Corruption Related Offence” stands alone there. It is not a clause. Are we approving it on the assumption that it is part of the headnote?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, so what we are amending is not clause 30. We are amending the headnote. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclauses (1) and (2), delete and insert the following: “(1) An authorised officer may seize property if that authorized officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that the property is tainted and” (a) it is necessary to exercise the power of seizure to prevent the concealment, loss or destruction of the property; or (b) the circumstances are so urgent that immediate exercise of the power without the authority of a warrant or the order of a Court is required. (2) The Special Prosecutor shall apply to the Court on notice within seven days to confirm the seizure. (3) Where the Special Prosecutor fails to prefer charges within sixty days after the seizure, the Special Prosecutor shall release the seized property to the person from whom it was seized.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I wanted to crave your indulgence on clause 30 (1), the opening words, “An authorised officer”. The focus of this Bill is the Special Prosecutor or Authorised Officer. Would the Hon Chairman be amenable to accept that before we say an “authorised officer”, we should premise it on the “Special Prosecutor or Authorised Officer or Police Officer”?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, if you look at the interpretation section, an “authorised officer” is defined, and that I believe includes a police officer. “authorised officer' means an officer of the Office or any public officer authorised by law to exercise police powers”; Would that satisfy? Very well. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, item numbered (xxxii).

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclause (3), line 5, delete “goods”, and insert “grounds”. The new rendition would read: “where the authorised officer or police officer returns the seized property to the person from whom the property was seized in accordance with subsection (2), the authorised officer or police officer is immune from prosecution if the authorised officer or police officer acted in good faith and seized the property on reasonable grounds that the property was tainted with corruption or a corruption related offence”. Mr Speaker, at the appropriate time, we would make a further amendment to subclause (3), but if you would grant me the permission, I would move a further amendment to it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, if we take this one first, would it affect the proposed further amendment?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, that would not affect it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

In that case, may I propose that we take this one, and then you can move a further amendment.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, I believe the Hon Chairman of the Committee has forgotten to delete an aspect of the amendment that he moved -- that in respect of subclause (3), we should delete all the words that come after “tainted”. “…that the property was tainted with corruption…” Mr Speaker, we should delete “with corruption or a corruption related offence”. This is because “tainted property” has been defined.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, the Hon Majority Leader has proposed that we should delete all after the word “corruption”.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, that was the amendment I had wanted to make in furtherance to the one --

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be

“Where the authorised officer or police officer returns the seized property to the person from whom the property was seized in accordance with subsection (2), the authorised officer or police officer is immune from prosecution if the authorised officer or police officer acted in good faith and seized the property on reasonable grounds that the property was tainted”. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclause (4), delete and insert the following: “Where the Special Prosecutor prefers charges, the Special Prosecutor shall, on notice, request the Court to make an order for the continued seizure and retention of the property pending final determination of the matter.” Mr Speaker, that would be the new rendition. Mr Speaker, we seek to achieve two objectives. One is to apply for the confirmation of the seizure, but with notice to the suspect whose property has been seized. It is to also say that until and unless the matter before the court would be determined, the suspect would not get back the seized property. So, at the end of the day, when the matter is determined and whatever decision the court may come to is reached, it would be whether to give the property back to the person affected upon acquittal, or to confiscate the property upon conviction of the accused person. Mr Speaker, this is, in short, what we would want to convey.

Speaker
Mr Amoatey

Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman of Committee would permit me, I would want to propose a further amendment to what he proposed to make the rendition more elegant and in line with the law.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that we should amend line 2 to read

“The Special Prosecutor may or notice apply to the court” instead of the use “shall apply to the court”. Mr Speaker, it is for the consideration of the Hon Chairman of the Committee.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that we should amend line 2 to read

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, kindly hold on. Hon Members, having regard to the state of Business of the House, I direct that the House Sits outside the normal Sitting period. Hon Member, please, continue.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman of the Committee would consider to maintain the time frame protection in addition to the requirement of notice to the property owner --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, we disagree with this proposition because we do not want to put the Special Prosecutor or any authorised officer through the ordeal and the inconvenience of having to go to court to firm up or confirm the continuous seizure of the property, when the matter has not been determined. Mr Speaker, we know that this is an interim preservation of the property until the matter has been determined, it cannot be said that after the expiration of the two year period, as it has been originally proposed in the Bill, the property must be released to the suspect or the owner of the property even when the matter has not been determined. That would defeat the purpose of the Bill. Mr Speaker, so, what we seek to do is that, after the seizure of the property by the Special Prosecutor, or any authorised officer, the Special Prosecutor would have the responsibility to go to court, or notice to confirm the seizure. After the seizure has been confirmed, the seizure must be continued pending the final determination of the matter. Upon the determination of the matter, if the court believes that the accused person must be let off the hook, then he or she would go with his or her property; but if at end of the day the accused person is convicted and it is determined that the property was procured or acquired out of a criminal activity, it would be confiscated and given to the State. Mr Speaker, we believe the current rendition is fair and justifiable and ought not to be disturbed. Mr Speaker, with respect to the rendition that was proposed by Hon Amoatey, I am opposed to the use of “may”. This is because the Special Prosecutor must be compelled to go to court. Mr Speaker, with respect to the rendition given by Hon Amoatey, I am opposed to the use of “may” because the Special Prosecutor must be compelled to go to court. With respect to “application”, I wholeheartedly agree with him.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, we must realise that there is no conviction or finding of guilt yet at this stage. The suspicion is that the property could be disposed of before the trial has ended. Mr Speaker, to allow a situation where the property could be seized indefinitely until the trial has ended, even if the trial takes three to five years, it would have very dire consequences for the property owner. Let us take for instance, a haulage truck. Trucks lose their value by the year. Even if the truck is not moved, it loses its value by the year just by being stationary. So, if we seize somebody's truck on suspicion that it was acquired from the proceeds of corruption, there is no time frame within which we should hold this truck, and it is until the trial is over, it is possible that the prosecuting authority itself could deliberately want to punish an individual by just obtaining a seizure notice and not proceed with the trial. We see that in court every day — Somebody is charged with armed robbery, the person is arrested, but because in the past, one could not even obtain bail on the charge of robbery, he or she would just be there, and the prosecution would not move on the case. He or she may be in detention for several years until the court starts applying the constitutional requirement that trials should take place within a reasonable time. Mr Speaker, I fear that we may have similar situations where somebody is charged with an offence pursuant to this Act, his property is seized, and that would be it. Once the seizure notice is issued, that is the end of the story; trials do not take place and there are delays — it takes three to five years and nothing happens. Mr Speaker, so either we maintain the protections in terms of the time limit originally proposed by the Hon Attorney- General herself, which was a more progressive proposal, or that we further amend the present amendment by the Hon

Speaker
Chairman to say, and I beg to quote

“…for the continued seizure and retention of the property for such period as the court may deem fit”. Mr Speaker, so, the power to determine the time period should be for the court. When the trial is not expedited and the accused person's property is being destroyed by just being kept under seizure conditions, that person should be able to apply to a court, so that the court could take a decision —

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, would the clause, as it stands, preclude a person from applying to the court to release the property?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, yes. As it is now, it simply gives the power to the Special Prosecutor, upon preferring charges and on notice, to request the court to make an order for the continued seizure and retention of the property, pending final determination of the matter. I do not see any other provision that gives the owner of the property the right to apply to the court to set aside the order that has been issued by court.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Is that not inherent in the court —

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

The inherent jurisdiction of the court —

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You have just cited the courts on their own. You said that when a person is charged with murder, there is a law saying there is no trial, but because they have delayed in prosecuting the matter, they used their constitutional power to admit to bail.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, that derives from the right to fair trial. I do not see any provision in the Constitution that can ground the decision of the court to decide to set aside such an order. This is because, in this case, we are legislating to deal with a special problem, which is corruption. It is pursuant to that special circumstance that we are giving the Special Prosecutor such powers. Mr Speaker, we must limit the powers by just introducing —

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

In this case, the power is to the court. The Special Prosecutor can only apply to the court. The court that made that order could say alright, we would hear the matter, so I would seize the property until I finish. If after two to three years, something happens to show that the Special Prosecutor is neither ready nor willing to prosecute the matter, will it still not be opened to the court to say that in view of the circumstances, they would release the property to the owner because undue hardships may ensue from their order?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt, if we look at the inherent jurisdiction of the court, it could do many things. Ordinarily, the prosecuting authority should be able to apply for preservation of any evidence. If the property itself is the evidence, then ordinarily, it should be able to apply for its preservation, and order that the person should not sell or dispose of it. That is perfectly possible. But why are we specifically giving that authority here? It is for the avoidance of doubt. Therefore, I am saying that for the same avoidance of doubt, let us also indicate that the duration for the seizure order should also be subject to the discretion of the court. That is why I would move for a further amendment of the amendment of the Hon Chairman to read: “.. for the continued seizure and retention of the property pending final determination of the matter or for such period as the court may determine.”

Speaker
Mr Boamah

Mr Speaker, such orders are always contained in one's Motion paper. So, I disagree with my Hon Colleague from Bawku Central. Mr Speaker, if someone's property is seized or deemed tainted and the Special Prosecutor makes such an application to the court without adding any timelines to the clause, as my Hon Colleague talked about, if the same person feels strongly against the orders made by the court and also believes that the Special Prosecutor is unduly delaying the release of his or her property, that person can make a further application to the court for a variation order — [Interruption] — for the court to vary its orders. So, I do not think it is cast in stone. The same person can make an application for that order to be varied to satisfy —

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, if we go to article 14(3) of the Constitution, it says and I beg to quote: “A person who is arrested, restricted or detained — (a) for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of an order of a court; or (b) upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or being about to commit a criminal offence under the laws of Ghana, and who is not released, shall be brought before a court within forty-eight hours after the arrest, restriction or detention. (4) Where a person arrested, restricted or detained under paragraph (a) or (b) of clause (3) of this article is not tried within a reasonable time, then, without prejudice to any further proceedings that may be brought against him, he shall be released either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, including in particular, conditions reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears at a later date for trial or for proceedings preliminary to trial.” Mr Speaker, this is a constitutional provision to the effect that any person who is arrested, restricted or detained must be tried within a reasonable time. So, in the scenario being cited by Hon Ayariga, if the accused person thinks that he or she is not being tried within a reasonable time, and his property has been seized and detained, and stands the risk of being destroyed or dissipated, I believe within the confines of the context of this constitutional provision, he or she could apply to the court for the variation of the order or vacation of the order as the case may be, which has already been made by the court.

Speaker
Dr Ayine

Mr Speaker, with due reference to my Hon Chairman of the Committee, article 14 deals with the rights of the person that is detained. We are looking at his property rights here, which are governed by article 18 of the Constitution. Mr Speaker, the debate that has ensued so far seeks to maintain a balance between the property rights of the person who is the subject of an investigation and the power of the Hon Attorney-General to prevent crime. So, there has to be a fine balance stalked between the two. Inasmuch as we would want to prevent crime, we should also not in the process end the property rights of the citizens. Mr Speaker, I would propose a further amendment, with the leave of the Hon Chairman, that we add a subclause (5) to the effect that “the court shall make such orders as it deems fit for the preservation of the ceased property and for the maintenance of its value”. Mr Speaker, so it does not matter how long it is seized; its value would be maintained. As Hon Ayariga has pointed out, if we seize a haulage truck and park it for two years and it loses value, at the end of the day, by reason of this amendment, the State would have an obligation to restore it to the ex-ante value. Mr Speaker, so I believe we should make a further amendment to that effect for the protection of the property rights of persons under investigation.

Speaker
Dr Ayine

Speaker
Ms Safo

Mr Speaker, I have listened to the argument raised by the Hon Ayariga and Hon Dr Ayine. In the submission by Hon Ayariga, he admitted, just as you were leading him to understand, that a situation where a property is seized for a period of time and the availability of an option through the same court procedure -- where the court or judge can decide that it is being unduly delayed in the prosecution of the matter and the seizure of that same property -- if it continues to be seized, it would deteriorate or lose its value. Mr Speaker, that same person can go to court, and that is an inherent right of the court. It is part of the court's inherent jurisdiction, so I do not see the reason we should legislate on it. The Hon Member is a senior member at the Bar, and has practised for so many years. One can always go to court on these matters and the court can vary its own decisions that have been taken, as has been enumerated by the Hon Member for Okaikoi Central. Mr Speaker, so if these releases are available in a civil procedure and we are legislating again, then what would be the need for having our civil procedure rules or Acts? We cannot legislate on everything. I agree with them, that if it is being unduly seized for a longer period, then we should legislate that the property should be released, or the value restored to its earlier value. These are all procedural matters in court, so I do not see why the Hon Ayariga is still shaking his head that we should legislate on this matter, when he has earlier admitted that the court has such inherent jurisdiction to pass or to give such consequential orders; these are consequential orders that the courts are free to give. Mr Speaker, even when the court has given one decision in favour, they could always go back, depending on the circumstances when the proper application is made to the court, to reconsider the fact of the matter; how the property is being deteriorated at the site and vary its decision. So if this is available in our procedure in court, I do not see the reason we should legislate on it.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I believe that the Hon Chairman of the Committee would take a cue from you since you have not availed yourself by virtue of where you sit to propose amendments, but to guide the process. You have guided the process. Mr Speaker, suffice it to add that instead of your “three years”, we should maybe do “two years”. We should do so with the understanding that in a criminal trial, we have two practices. In this Bill, we have a duty to preserve and protect fundamental human rights and freedoms. The courts would be better guided by what the intention of Parliament was, or is in getting this legislative process through. Therefore, I support your guidance that the Hon Chairman of the Committee should yield to “two years” instead of “three years”. This is because if we look at the amendment that the Hon Chairman has moved, it is lopsided in favour of one party to the prosecution. So, we are concerned about the other party -- an inevitable party to a criminal trial is the accused person. So, I believe the Hon Chairman should fairly accept that even though the court would be guided -- Mr Speaker, we have read recent pronouncements of the Supreme Court; they are emphatic that this was Parliament's intention, and this is the law that Parliament bequeathed to them. Therefore, they go ahead to interpret it as was the intention so determined by them. So, I believe the Hon Chairman should take guidance from you and accept to substitute “two years” for “three years”, and the amendment could pass. This is because we should not just be interested in the Special Prosecutor and what he does. We have a duty to protect and preserve fundamental human rights. Mr Speaker, just like the Hon Chairman said, section 14 deals with person and section 18 deals with property under the Constitution, so they cannot be the same. We see an instance where Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) -- I am not using person or property -- seized a particular business's bank account. The business suffers because at the end of the month, they are not able to pay their workers. We should be mindful of those things and what we do.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, I would want to hear you now on the proposal.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, we have taken a cue, so we would propose a further amendment to this current amendment. [Pause.] Mr Speaker, we would flag it and come back to it later. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

I am grateful that the Hon Chairman proposes that we flag it. When we go to discuss it, let us -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, you have not ruled yet, so I would add something to it before you do.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I think you would go to the winnowing session and discuss it and then come to a conclusion. Once we flag it, it means that it would be discussed and concluded at the winnowing session. So, just make sure that you are at the winnowing level. In that case, I would not put the Question on the last proposed amendment to clause 30. I think this is the right time to suspend Sitting, allow Hon Members to have some lunch, and then we would come back. Sitting is suspended now and we would resume at 3.30 p.m. 2.27p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 4.45 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, we are at your pleasure.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, if we may begin with item numbered 11 on today's Order Paper -- the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Item numbered 11 - the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017 at the Consideration Stage.

BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I have been advised that we have not done anything on the Bill at all and so we would start from clause 1. Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 2 -- Object of the Fund

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The advertised amendment stands in the name of the Hon Minority Leader.

Speaker
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 2, subclause (2), paragraph (a), lines 1 and 2, delete “to create conditions for the transformation of the” and insert “in”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, do you have any objection to the proposed amendment? Mr Kennedy N. Osei (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee) (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah): Mr Speaker, I do not have any objection.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, before we come to the amendment being proposed for clause 2 (2) which provides that: “For the purpose of achieving the object of the Fund, moneys from the Fund shall be applied to relevant activities that the Board of Trustees may determine, including (a) investment in strategically targeted economic and social infrastructure …” Mr Speaker, if we agree that the infrastructure that we are talking about is in respect of schools, water resources, roads, energy and so on, then it may be so construed. I have not seen any Bill which would have the phraseology “such as”. It is too prosaic. Mr Speaker, I am not sure that it obtains anywhere; “… infrastructure such as schools, water resources, roads …”. We have to look at the language.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, in any event, if we look at clause 2 (1) above it reads

“The object of the Fund is to provide financial resources to support investments in basic infrastructure, education, busi- nesses, sanitation and the security needs of the Zongo communities …” Mr Speaker, so, it appears that the basic infrastructure that we are talking about relates to the delivery of potable water, schools and so on. So, we do not have to say “such as” in the Bill -- clause 2 (a).

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, what is your pleasure?

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, if you read the headnote which is Object of the Fund, It starts with 2 (1) which reads: “The object of the Fund is to provide financial resources to develop and transform the social and economic conditions of Zongo communities.” Mr Speaker, therefore, my amendment in subclause (2), paragraph (a), lines 1 and 2, delete “to create conditions for the transformation of the” and insert “in”. Mr Speaker, this is because it is repetitive and it is already in the opening. That is “to transform the social and economic conditions of Zongo communities.” Mr Speaker, I so move.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman?

Speaker
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, we have no objection.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Item numbered (ii). Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, so, what becomes of the proposal that I proffered. We cannot have “such as”. Mr Speaker, it reads: “… investment in strategically targeted economic and social infrastructure such as schools, …” Mr Speaker, I do not think that language is --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, what are you talking about?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I am sure the Hon Majority Leader has an older version of the Bill. The one that we withdrew.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

What is the date of the new version so that I could compare with what I have?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, it is 11th October, 2017.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Then mine is also the King James Version and so, I may need the New International Version.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, you may now move your amendment.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 2, subclause (2), paragraph (e), line 2, after “women” insert “in Zongo communities”. Mr Speaker, this is to ensure consistency with other paragraphs in the clause. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 2 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 3 -- Accountability to the Minister

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, line 2, delete “the”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read

“The Fund shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and compliance as set out in this Act and in guidelines of the Fund.”

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee is purporting to help him, having suggested the deletion of “the” he should read it in full and see what meaning it makes to him and this august House.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I would want to abandon this amendment.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, maybe, for elegance, if I may have your indulgence and leave, this is how we should further amend it to read and delete the rest of the words: “The Fund shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and compliance with this Act.” Mr Speaker, once there is compliance to this Act, every other thing would follow through. Mr Speaker, we are just emphasising that they must account to the Minister the extent to which funds have been used in pursuit of activities to achieve its object and to ensure compliance to the Act.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, the Hon Minority Leader is proposing a new rendition as set out in the second line of clause 3, deleted for the whole provision to end at “Act”. So, it would read: “The Fund shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and compliance with this Act.” Is that all right?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

But, Mr Speaker, in future, when guidelines --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Guidelines would always take their source from the Act.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I have no objection.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Yes, Hon Member for Bawku Central?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, “the Fund shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and compliance with this Act and in the guidelines of the Fund”. Mr Speaker, “in the guidelines” has been deleted.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, were you anticipating that in addition to regulations, we would also issue guidelines?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, respectfully, I believe that would be a question for the --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You have provided for Regulations, under clause 30. Did you anticipate that we issue guidelines in addition to regulations?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, that is the direction I got from the Hon Minister.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

My attention is being drawn to a proposed clause 32 which would grant the Board the power to issue guidelines. But that would still be in accordance with the Act. So, the amendment is still appropriate. Guidelines would still be guidelines and would not have the force of law. It would be still regulations, but what they would be required to comply with -- The Board itself that would be issuing the guidelines is the one that would be indicating that it is complying with the Act. So, the issuance of the guidelines would be in compliance with the Act. So, the amendment is proper.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

So, Mr Speaker, I could take it all over again.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The new rendition would be: “The Fund shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and compliance with this Act.” Yes, Hon Member for Bawku Central?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, this is the first of such a fund we are establishing. So, really, there is no precedence to guide us. But I wonder whether the place for clause 3 is not clause 15. This is because, clause 15 deals with the issue of oversight of the Minister. If we could just move clause 3 and add it to clause 15, so that in addition to the Minister issuing directives, also they are accountable to the Minister for the implementation of their responsibilities under the Act. Mr Speaker, this is because, if you ask me what the meaning of clause 3 is, that they are accountable to the Minister for the implementation of the Act, what would accountability entail? Does it entail just reporting obligations, or for every decision they take, they come to him for approval? Exactly what does accountability to the Minister for the implementation of the Act mean? I am at pains to appreciate what exactly it means. But it is a novelty. I am not against it being in the Act, but I think we could make it a little more tidy by just moving it to clause 15.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I would plead with the Hon Ayariga so that we get the principle first. His is that, it is a novelty of creation of a ministry. And I am sure the policy's intent is to strengthen the hand of the Minister to be in charge. Therefore, the Board must respond to him the extent to which they are seeing to the implementation of this Act. Mr Speaker, if it is a matter of arrangement, you might direct the draftpersons to look at it, and probably, when they get to clause 15, they could place it there. But for now, we just want the principle that the Fund shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and in compliance with this Act, so that the rest of the word, as you have appropriately guided, would be.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader? Hon Chairman, I would come to you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I appreciate the principle involved in what the Hon Member for Bawku Central espoused. But I am wondering if indeed we are talking about the accountability of the Fund -- [Interruption] -- It is not the accountability of the Fund. We are rather talking about the Board. It is the governing body that should be responsible to the Minister and not the Fund. Mr Speaker, the Fund as we know, means the Zongo Development Fund. So, the Zongo Development Fund as a fund cannot be responsible to the Minister. Really, we are talking about the governing Board. So, when we come to the governing Board of the Fund and define the functions under the Board, that is where it belongs. It comes after the governing Board and it is the Board that should be responsible to the Minister, but not the Fund. Thank you.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, when the Hon Minority Leader read the latest rendition the last time, he left out “…and in guidelines of the Fund.” I think we would maintain “…and in guidelines of the Fund.” This is because the Hon Minister has told me that he anticipates there would be guidelines in addition to regulations.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be

“The Fund shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and compliance with this Act and in guidelines of the Fund.”

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Where is the guidelines? I have seen that you have provided for creating a section 32, which would provide for guidelines. But when they do provide the guidelines, then what it means is that, they are complying with the Act. That is why I agree with the Hon Minority Leader that that part is not necessary, because they would be complying with the Act and that is what has provided that the Board issues guidelines. Hon Chairman, are you in sync with me? I think we should put the Question on the proposed amendment.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, so now it would end at “…Act.”

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I will put the Question now. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, as the Hon Minority Leader indicated, we must first agree with the principle that we are not talking about the Fund, but the Board. Then after that, we would agree to relocate. We are not really deleting it, but we are relocating it to the appropriate place which, in my opinion, should come after clause 8, after the functions of the Board have been defined.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So, are you proposing that the Fund should change to the Board?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, that is so.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, are you following us? The new rendition then would be: “The Board shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and compliance with this.” In that case, it cannot be: “…its objects”, but “….on the achievement of the object of the Fund.” “The Board shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of the object of the Fund and compliance with this Act.” Yes, Hon Amoatey?

Speaker
Mr Amoatey

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, with the amendment to clause 3, the accountability is to the Board and not to the Fund. In that case, the earlier recommendation of the Hon Member for Bawku Central comes into play. This is because clause 15(1) also gives the Minister the oversight responsibility of the Board, in which case, you may direct that clause 3 should be married to clause 15 or vice versa.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, maybe, I should persuade the Hon Majority Leader to guide himself with clause 1. It cannot be “the Board”; it is “the Fund”. This is because we are creating a corporate entity in clause 1. Mr Speaker, I would refer you to clause 1: “The Fund is a body corporate...” And we have established it. So, let us not bring in “the Board”. It is the Fund that we would want to be accountable to the Minister for reporting purposes and for unity of command. Mr Speaker, this is new and we want it because we know they suffer deprivation in these areas. I am sure the President in his wisdom is intervening in order to alleviate the suffering of the people. So, Hon Majority Leader, it should not be the Board, but the Fund. In terms of arrangement, Mr Speaker, you may guide where we should put the clause. Maybe, after clause 7 or somewhere around clause 13 or what Hon Ayariga referred to. We are creating the Fund; that is the body we are creating. The Fund must be accountable to the Hon Minister.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I think the matter is settled. Clause 3 refers to the Fund, so we would maintain it at that.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, it shall read

“The Fund shall be accountable to the Minister on the achievement of its object and compliance with this Act.” Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 3 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, clause 5? Clause -- Sources of money for the Fund

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, there is no advertised amendment on clause 5, but I have an amendment I would like to make. Mr Speaker, clause 5, paragraph (c), delete “…a minimum of two percent of the total amount of Earmarked Funds would go to the Fund”. This was intended to take care of the seed capital of the Fund, but this is adequately covered under clause 5, paragraph (a), so paragraph (c) should be deleted.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, I would wish to propose an amendment to clause 5(b) after “grants” -- I believe in this case, we should be able to add “donations”. This is because in this regard, donations are welcome. In this Bill, there is a place for donations.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, can donations not be catered for under voluntary contributions?

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

All right, Mr Speaker, there is the phrase, “and other voluntary contributions”. Mr Speaker, I take a cue. I am guided. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, I thought there was a “Zongo” caucus meeting which was not interested in this one. So, I looked at you and took my eyes off you, but now let me hear you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I am sorry. I was distracted, so, can I hear you again?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, look at the current subclause (e).

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you could even look at (b), “voluntary contributions”.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, first, it must be understood that this vehicle is being created because we all acknowledge that the zongo communities are very deprived communities, and many of the residents, even most of them are themselves distressed, and this is an intervention that is meant to uplift not only the communities, but the residents as well. Mr Speaker, secondly, the zongo communities are not populated by Muslims alone, so, if we should exact a contribution from the Muslims and leave out the non-Muslims, that in itself may be discriminatory. Mr Speaker, thirdly, a huge proportion of those of them who embark on Hajj are so distressed that they would have to be sponsored by other benefactors, including in particular, Hon Members of Parliament, and I believe that Hon Muntaka, I would not say is a victim, but may be a major sponsor of the pilgrims. Mr Speaker, by this, he is passing the buck onto the sponsors and not to the individuals who are going to be beneficiaries. Therefore, even though it is well intentioned, I do not believe that we should go on with it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I believe that clause 5, as you put the Question on, is appropriate. Probably when we go along -- Mr Speaker, at the Second Reading, we had hinted that, maybe, to cure the problem of Hajj, we had said that we would sponsor an amendment to that effect, so that with this Fund, perhaps a sub-Committee may be given an additional role. But I still would persuade the Whip that other monies that may become lawfully payable, we would be able to deal with that. Mr Speaker, my only problem as you have opened this up is; what would happen to the seed moneys? Is that also part of the moneys approved by Parliament? This is because in the Infrastructure for Poverty which was announced by the Hon Minister for Finance, we are aware that some seed money has been dedicated to this Fund. Are we not rightly capturing that as part of the sources of the monies for the Fund? I would want the Hon Minister and probably --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, that is the explanation the Hon Chairman offered for deleting (c), that would actually be captured as allocations to the Fund. I therefore believe that the vote we took is still valid. Clause 5 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Yes, Hon Member for Offinso South, what happened?

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, with respect to clause 5(b), if the Hon Chairman of the Committee would agree, I would want to say that “other” preceding “voluntary” ought to be deleted, because grants and loans are not voluntary contributions. To that extent, it should be “and voluntary contributions”.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, we have no objections.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Minister?

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Mr Speaker, I would have agreed with him, but for the prudent financial management exercise going on in the country, the Ministry of Finance is trying to pull all Earmarked Funds into a common basket and therefore, if the Hon Member would want this, then we are going to be pulled into the same basket. So, what is happening is that we should have annual or yearly budgetary allocation, and that is what the Ministry of Finance has agreed upon and that is what I can tell my Hon Colleague.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, this indeed is a posthumous exercise. You have put the Question on clause 5 -- [Interruption.] Please, if you listened to Mr Speaker, he has put the Question on that. Mr Speaker, with respect, it is an exercise in futility. If Hon Members feel strongly on that, they can come by a Second Consideration. In any event, Mr Speaker, the minimum, the one or two per cent, is it not going to be moneys approved by Parliament? We should know what quantum of amount that is required to do this major infrastructural development of the zongos. We should know and with an eye on that, whatever allocation that is made, Parliament should come together to ensure that we have appropriate and adequate amounts allocated for the development of Zongo facilities. I believe that should be the bottom line. Mr Speaker, just to remind you, you have already put the Question.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, we are done with clause 5. It is still open to Hon Members who would want to reopen it under the Second Consideration Stage. Clause 6 -- Bank account

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, there is no advertised amendment to clause 6.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, with your leave, if you would indulge me, clause 6 reads: “Moneys for the Fund shall be paid into a bank account opened for the purpose by the Board with the approval of the Controller and Accountant-General.” I have seen elsewhere in another Bill where the same clause reads: “The moneys shall be paid into an account opened for that purpose with the approval of the Controller and Accountant-General.” I would want to believe that is better than what we have in this Bill. So, if I can have your leave, it should be: “Moneys for the Fund shall be paid into a bank account opened for that purpose with the approval of the Controller and Accountant- General.” If the Hon Chairman has no objection with that.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So the proposal is that we delete “the” and replace with “that”. Hon Chairman, do you have any objection to it?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, he is also deleting “by the Board”. It is not only “the” but “by the Board” is also being deleted. We have no objection to both.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

No, if we delete “by the Board”, then who would open the account? “Moneys for the Fund shall be paid into a bank account opened for that purpose by the Board.” It is the purpose and he proposes that in the earlier Bill, we changed “the” to “that”. So, to be consistent, we should use “that” instead of “the”.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I drew your attention to the fact that he also said in an earlier rendition that we do not have “by the Board”, but just “the Controller and Accountant-General”. So, that is where we are -- whether to delete “the” and also “by the Board”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well, give your new rendition then I would put the Question.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, it would read: “Moneys for the Fund shall be paid into a bank account opened for that purpose with the approval of the Controller and Accountant- General.”

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, did you not hear the rendition?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Not very well, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, the Hon Majority Leader says he is not sure of what he is voting on so, kindly let him hear the rendition again.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, clause 6 shall now read: “Moneys for the Fund shall be paid into a bank account opened for that purpose with the approval of the Controller and Accountant- General.”

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, just a minor thing. Since they quoted from what we have just done, then we qualify that with the definite article “The” -- “The moneys”. That is the Fund so defined. Those are the moneys: “The moneys for the Fund shall be paid into a bank account opened for that purpose with the approval of the Controller and Accountant- General.”

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, there is a proposed further amendment by inserting “The” in front of “Moneys”.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, it is consistent with what we did earlier and I have no objection. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 6 as amended ordered to form part of the Bill. Clause 7 -- Governing body of the Fund

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Haruna Iddrisu, the proposed amendment is in your name.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7, subclause (1), paragraph (c), line 1, delete “of Inner City and” and insert “responsible for”.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You should have allowed him to finish his --

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

I stopped him, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You do not have that power to stop him. Hon Haruna Iddrisu, I still want to hear your proposed amendment.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I would yield to him momentarily.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7, subclause (1), paragraph (c), line 1, delete “of” and insert “responsible for”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

There are more than one “of”. Which one are we deleting?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, it would read: “one representative of the Ministry responsible for Inner City and Zongo Development …” Mr Speaker, the Ministry is Ministry for Inner City and Zongo Development.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, what is the name of the Ministry? It is Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development. The purpose of this Bill is for Zongo development. Unless they also mean that this Fund is also for inner cities, in which case, we should change the title of the Fund to “Inner City and Zongo Development Fund”. But because it is specifically “Zongo Development Fund”, I believe we should not add “Inner City”; it should just be “the Ministry responsible for Zongo Development”. That is all.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, does the Hon Member for Wa East suggest that if we are considering say, a Bill covering sanitation, then we would refer to the Hon Minister in the Bill as “Minister for Sanitation”, but not “Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources” because what is being considered only covers sanitation? The reference here is to the Ministry, but the subject matter is zongo matters. The Ministry is “Ministry for Inner City and Zongo Development”. So, we are referencing the Ministry, not zongo development.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the concern here is, which Minister is responsible for the development of the Zongo communities? For the time being, he carries the title, Minister for Inner Cities and Zongo Development. But tomorrow, he may not bear that title. He may be the Minister for Zongo Development and Horticulture. We would not be interested in Horticulture, we are interested in the Zongo Development wing of the Ministry. So, Mr Speaker, just like the many Bills that we have been crafting, there is a Ministry called the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. If you are dealing with a matter that relates to Finance, we would say the Minister responsible for Finance. We do not have Minister of Finance. Wherever Finance finds itself, the Minister responsible would be the Minister responsible. Mr Speaker, I think it should be understood in that context.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, so, in future, if we do not have any Ministry with the name, “Zongo”, but this Bill would have been passed into an Act and we do not have any Ministry, the stress there would be to find the Minister whose Ministry's activities cover Zongos.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

And that would be the Minister responsible for Zongos. That is why the proposal is that, replace Ministry with ‘Minister responsible for'. So, it does not matter in which Ministry he is placed. Once he is responsible for Zongo Development, this Bill would come under him.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

But, Mr Speaker, we are not replacing “Ministry” with “Minister”. What he sought to do was to delete ‘Inner Cities'.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I agree. He abandoned that and you continued and said we should make it ‘Ministry responsible'. That is where the challenge would come because tomorrow, the whole Ministry may be scrapped and placed under a Regional Minister or placed under the Minister for National Pension, whatever, but there would still be a Minister responsible notwithstanding the Ministry. That is why it is better to use the “Minister responsible for Zongo Development”. Let me hear the Hon Minister.

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, we are talking of one representative from that Ministry and that Ministry is Inner City and Zongo Development. So, we are saying “Ministry responsible for Inner City and Zongo Development.”

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, thank you very much. We can leave it at “Ministry for Zongo Development”. But what we are saying is that in this country, there was once a Ministry for Capital City and Beautification. -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

On a point of order.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, so, the point we are making is that, whether it is a Minister or Ministry, anytime, that schedule can be moved to be under a Ministry. The Zongo development would be taken over by a Ministry. But the Fund is for Zongo Development. So, the point we are making is that, it should be the Ministry responsible for Zongo Development. Wherever the responsibility is moved to, whether it is under Ministry of Finance or Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development or any other Ministry, the representative should come from that Ministry.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, I thought you were done.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, how I wish, and I know persons residing in the Zongo would now know those they can enstool as Sariki Suame and Hon Member for New Juabeng and the Hon Minister. Mr Speaker, you have given them guidance; we are saying that in this Bill, it lies within the prerogative of the President to re-align Ministries. In practice, we have seen it happen. Tomorrow, Zongo Development or Inner City, part or half, or all of it can be put under the Ministry of Special Initiative at the pleasure of the President. So, we are saying that it would be a representative of the Ministry responsible for Zongo Development. It serves us today, it serves us tomorrow. Hon Minister, today, you are the Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development responsible for Zongo Development. But we are mindful that this Bill, and if you recall, at Second Reading, we had criticised because even as we listened to the Hon Minister for Finance, everything was Inner City and Zongo Development. But there is now a special focus on Zongo development. Under- standably so. Mr Speaker, may I plead that some of these little issues should not tear our heads. I am afraid, sometimes, the attitude some of our Hon Colleagues do not show — we are just trying to improve a legislation. Therefore, when you give guidance on a matter like this, we should be able to make progress. I thank you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I think the point must be made that if an Hon Member does not fully appreciate a point that is being made by an Hon Colleague, he has the right to probe further. Mr Speaker, about ten years or so ago, we had a Ministry called Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. If the Minister then, sponsored a Bill on sports in this House, the Minister would be the Minister responsible for Sports. It would not be in his capacity as the Minister for Education, Youth and Sports. Otherwise, today, where we have decoupled the Ministry and we have Ministry of Youth and Sports, as opposed to the Ministry for Education, we cannot have one Minister of Education then come in and say that he is the Minister who was at the time conceived to be the Minister for Education, Youth and Sports. It would create problems. And that is why it is important to strand them out that this is the Ministry responsible for Youth, the Ministry responsible for Sports and the Ministry responsible for Education. Let us not forget that sixteen years ago, we had a Ministry responsible for Education, Science and Technology. Today, we do not have it. So, the emphasis should be on the Ministry — the Ministry responsible for that strand that we are talking about and I believe the Hon Minister now appreciates it so, we can go ahead.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. I would put the Question --

Speaker
Mr Kpodo

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Let me hear Hon Kpodo.

Speaker
Mr Kpodo

Mr Speaker, we would want to move away from a Ministry to a particular function or definition. I would want to make a further amendment to the effect that we should reverse the order of “Zongo Development” and make it “Minister for the Development of Zongo Communities”. [Interruption.] So, the emphasis is -- [Interruption] -- there is no Ministry, it is a function or duty. So, there is no Ministry referred to here but the fact that we want to develop Zongo communities. Wherever the assignment is located, it would focus on the development of Zongo communities, so that we do not think that we are talking about a Ministry for Zongo Development but rather the development of Zongo communities.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, the argument is getting tedious. I would plead with you to now put the Question, so that we move on. It is getting so repetitive and people are straying off the tangent. Respectfully, I would plead with you to put the Question and we could move on.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, I would go by your earlier diction that when an Hon Member has not understood, I should allow him to do so.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Bawku Central, I have not given you the floor, so kindly resume your seat.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, there are two issues here. By my understanding, and I stand corrected, we are constituting the governing body of the Fund and there is institutional representation.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development is real. It has been established under E. I. 38, so the Ministry exists. It is not a Minister of State but a Minister responsible for that Ministry.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Mr Chairman, I would put the Question - the rendition you proposed. It has not been changed. There is only one Ministry who could send representation, so there is no question. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Kpodo

Mr Speaker, I take a very strong exception to the Hon Majority Leader's statement, that when people make statements here, they stray. Where have they strayed to? That was a follow up to the issue I raised, that we should focus on the function rather than the Ministry. I do not see how I strayed. I take a very strong exception to what he said.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Kpodo, I cannot see how you assumed that it was in reference to you. It was only a conjecture, so I would not make a ruling on your objection. Clause 7, item numberd 11 (v), Hon Minority Leader.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7, subclause (1), paragraph (i), after “Executive” insert “Officer”. That is consistent with Chief Executive Officer. As you go through the Bill, you would see the Office of Chief Executive Officer in clause 16, so this is for consistency. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7, subclause (3), delete and insert the following: “The President shall in appointing a person as a member of the Board have regard to the integrity, expertise and experience of the person and in particular the knowledge of that person in matters relevant to the functions of the Board.” Mr Speaker, this is just redrafting to ensure clarity in the provision. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Richard Acheampong

Mr Speaker, sorry to take you back. The headnote for clause 7 is “Governing body of the Fund”. The amendment proposed is that we delete “Fund” and insert “Board” which we refused to accept -- If the amendment still maintains the functions of the Board, is it the function of the Fund or Board? This is because we are still dealing with clause 7. Clause 7 (1) talks about the “Governing body of the Fund”. Mr Speaker, since we are referring to the “Fund”, we cannot insert the “Board” in place of the “Fund”. So, let us be consistent and maintain “Fund”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Which subclause are you talking about?

Speaker
Mr Richard Acheampong

Mr Speaker, Clause 7 (3).

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

And where is the insertion?

Speaker
Mr Richard Acheampong

Mr Speaker, the last word.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

We are replacing the whole clause 7 (3) with a new --

Speaker
Mr Richard Acheampong

Mr Speaker, and we would end with the “Board” instead of the “Fund”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Now we have: “The President shall in appointing a member of the Board have regard to the integrity, expertise and experience of the persons and in particular their knowledge in matters relevant to the functions of the Board.” Please, it cannot be otherwise. Hon Members, I have put the Question already. Clause 7 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 8 -- Functions of the Board.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8, subclause (2), paragraph (g), delete.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, why should we delete it?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, paragraph (g) reads: “receive and examine reports from designated persons in respect of financial assistance granted those persons;”. Mr Speaker, this is an operational function -- it is not a function of the Board and that is why I would want to delete it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8, add the following new subclause:

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Mr Speaker, I would want to refer the Hon Minority Leader to the “Interpretation” section where the name “Zongo” was defined. “Zongo community” means a heterogeneous community comprising various ethnic groups with different religions...”.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, please, hold on.

[MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.]

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, who was on his feet?

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Mr Speaker, I was on my feet. I am the Hon Minister for Inner- City and Zongo Development. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, I believe my Hon Colleague and junior Brother, Hon Mohammed- Mubarak Muntaka and Hon Haruna Iddrisu would agree that a Zongo is a heterogeneous society which is composed of different ethnicities and different religions, but the most predominant language is Hausa and the most predominant religion is Islam. Mr Speaker, the same community is characterised by poor living conditions. In a Zongo community, these features feature very well.

Speaker
Some Hon Members

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, please, why are so many of you on your feet?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Dafeamekpor?

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, I believe the criterion which has been set out in the “Interpretation” section, particularly in respect of the language -- Mr Speaker, it is not always the case that the Zongos that we know as they are now, have Hausa as their predominant language -- [Interruption] -- No, it is not the case --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I do not believe that we are on the “Interpretation” section. We were on clause 8. So, please, speak to it.

Speaker
Mr Dafeamekpor

Mr Speaker, I take a cue. When we get there, I would raise the issue.

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, yes.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Against which Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, I wanted to correct the Hon Member that his concerns have been taken care of.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, which clause are you on?

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, I am on clause 31. We are not yet there, but the concerns the Hon Member raised has been taken care of so I would want to draw his attention that when we get to it--

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I drew his attention and he has resumed his seat.

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, I thank you. [Laughter.]

Speaker
Mr Asafu-Adjei

Mr Speaker, the Zongo community is characterised by --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, we are aware of the characteristics of the Zongo community, so let us move on.

Speaker
Mr Asafu-Adjei

Mr Speaker, I would want to talk about the characteristics and the poverty level in the Zongo community -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Mahama Ayariga?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, I support the amendment which was proposed by the Hon Minority Leader and I do not think that he should abandon it. If he abandons it, I would adopt it as mine. Mr Speaker, it is important that there is a mechanism to identify and publish a list of communities identified as Zongo communities for the purposes of the disbursement of the resources. Otherwise, if it is left without any mechanism that would compel either the Board or the Hon Minister to clearly publish that these communities either by an Executive Instrument or some mechanism constitute the Zongo community for the purposes of the Fund, there would be confusion. People would not know who would qualify and who would not qualify. Mr Speaker, the definition as it is in the “Interpretation” section, is not adequate. There must be a clear specification.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, the amendment that is being proposed is that, “the Board shall determine and advise the Minister which communities in Ghana qualify for classification as Zongo communities.” Mr Speaker, I support this amendment subject to some qualifications. If the person moving the amendment has not abandoned it, I may — [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, while perusing through page 9, there is what you have rightly referred to, as clause 31, where there is effort by the Hon Chairman of the committee to define “Zongo community”. Suffice it to add that we would seek to improve the definition when we get there, but it does take care of the concern to which I raised the amendment. Therefore, with your leave, I would accordingly withdraw the amendment. When we get to clause 31, we would strengthen it because, predominant religion in Zongo areas is Islam, and that is an undeniable fact. It is important that we define them with their characteristics. So, Mr Speaker, with your leave, I withdraw the proposed amendment. Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I will now put the Question. Alhaji Muntaka — rose —

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Further amendment to clause 8? It is not on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, there is good reason the Standing Orders provide that you need to give notice of these major proposed amendments. If, as of now, you think that there is the opportunity for us to do more, we are prepared to do so to relax the rules, but there is a danger. This is because not all Hon Members were at the committee level to listen to the technical advice to the committee. A lot of discussions go on at the committee level before they propose the amendments. So when suddenly, new ones are being proposed, we would sometimes end up distorting the concept and principles of the Bill. At the end of the day, we cannot get the real meaning or intention of the House. And So I would want to plead with you that if you intend to move it, then discuss with the Hon Chairman of the Committee and we can then do a second Consideration after consensus has been built.

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, we would be guided by your advice. I believe that we had remitted same to the Table Office. Indeed, as we did to the Second Reading, we had served notice that we would want this Ministry to exercise oversight over the organisation of Hajj which is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Indeed, we referred to it at Second Reading. It is just a matter of getting it advertised as you have advised. Mr Speaker, what the Minority Chief Whip was seeking to do was to provide a clause to the functions of the Board, which is to be responsible for the organisation, supervision and manage- ment of the annual pilgrimage to Hajj. Then along the line, we would come with a rendition. It may even be just a subclause which would propose a sub-committee of the House Board to handle it. It is a suggestion. One of the popular activities in the Zongo is Hajj. We all know as a fact that it has run into problems and difficulties yearly. We would want to hold persons responsible accountable to this House. So, we are just providing an additional function to this Ministry and to the Board, that they shall be responsible for the organisation, supervision and management of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) so that all of us would work out the nitty-gritty. Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is a liaison between Parliament and the Hajj Board. He appreciates what we go through every other year. So we would want to designate this as an additional responsibility for the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development. As I earlier indicated, accept it or not, predominantly, the definition of “Zongo”, is Islam dominated areas. Mr Speaker, I accordingly submit in supporting the Minority Chief Whip.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader just a minute — is this Fund to be used to sponsor the Hajj pilgrims? — Alright. I just want clarification.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, respectfully, I believe the proper thing for the Hon Minority Leader to do is to get this well written so that we can really get the import of the amendment he seeks to propose. So he could come back at a Second Consideration Stage. As it is now, I cannot recall what he said.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

There is a fear there. This is because we are establishing a Fund. This Bill is to establish a Development Fund. It has nothing to do with an institutional structure. So if the Board is being called upon to take over the functions of the Hajj Board, and the Fund would not be used to finance that cost, then I do not see where it comes in. But when we get to that, we would see how we would get over that challenge.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Bill is clearly defined in the Memorandum of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the paragraph 2 of the Memorandum provides, and I beg to quote

“There is no dispute about the fact that from time immemorial, the needs of the Zongo communities were not adequately, captured in national development planning. Conse- quently, Zongo communities have peculiar infrastructure deficits, social services deficits, economic deficits and poor sanitation management, which place them in a situation that merits special attention.”

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the paragraph 2 of the Memorandum provides, and I beg to quote

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, I thought you had withdrawn the proposed amendment?

Speaker
Mr Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I will. This is the House of debate. I am only suggesting an addition to a legislation. But if the Hon Majority Leader is minded by the Memorandum he read, he should go to the last three lines of paragraph 3 which says: “... to provide equal access to education; to adapt and develop cultural values ...”. Mr Speaker, Hajj is of cultural value to Muslims and people in Zongo communities. What is culture? [Interruption] The most popular definition of culture is by Sir Edward B. Tylor and he says the people or a persons way of life. Islam is their way of life. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, Sir Tylor is sociologically the most authoritative person who defines culture -- the Hon Member can google it. Islam is the way of life of the Hausa people and the Zongo people. I would yield to the Hon Majority Leader if he says that policy consideration did not anticipate this but not to wax the Memorandum. If it is Memorandum, it is in it.-- social deficits. Mr Speaker, is it that the Zongo women in Suame do not do economic activities when it comes to Hajj? If the Hon Member assists them to do that economic activity, it is related. Mr Speaker, you raised an important issue; I am not by this suggesting that this Fund would be used for Hajj administration. Pilgrims pay for Hajj and they would continue to pay for it. But we just thought that since this Ministry has been created focusing on Zongo Development and affairs and this is a matter of interest, they would look at it. If the Hon Member is arguing based on the Memorandum, he should read it in full. He cannot read only one paragraph and end there. If he even goes further, it refers to other opportunities and it is Hajj that provides opportunities for many of the women in the Zongo communities including the men. So, we can do that; but since we have not advertised it, we can make progress.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, the proposed amendment has been withdrawn and so, I would proceed to put the Question on clause 8. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 8 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 9 -- Tenure of office of members.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 9, subclause (4), line 2 --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, where are you reading?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, there is a mistake in what is captured on the Order Paper. So --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, you have to seek permission to amend your proposed amendment. You do not just do it without drawing our attention. So, seek permission to amend the Motion.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I seek your leave to amend the amendment as captured on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, proceed to amend the amendment.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 9, subclause (4), line 2, delete “meeting” and insert “meetings”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I believe this is just a matter of secretarial work but it is good that it is captured to draw the attention of the draftspersons. So I do not need to put the Question on this matter. We just draw the attention of the draftsperson to capture it by adding (s) to “meeting” to make it “meetings”. Clause 9 -- Yes, Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Oh, I see. Hon Minority Chief Whip?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I first said Hon Minority Leader and then you said “Thank you, Mr Speaker”. [Laughter.]

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, what do you say to the proposed amendment?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, respectfully, the Hon Member may take the proposed amendment again.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

The proposed amendment is to delete “13 (2)” and insert “12 (2)” at clause 9 (7).

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, we have no objection. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 9 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 10 -- Duties and liabilities of members of the Board.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, again, I seek your leave to amend the proposed amendment as captured on the Order Paper. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, subclause (4), paragraph (4), line 5, after “or” insert “to”.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read

“A member of the Board who contravenes subsection 2 (c) or (d) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than five hundred penalty units and not more than thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than five years or to both”.

Speaker
Mr Afenyo-Markin

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Effutu? [Pause] How did you --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Are you a migrant or what? [Laughter]

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Well, I understand. Naturally, you are of that nature. You may now proceed.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I am on top of proceedings here. He actually sought my leave to further amend the proposed amendment before he moved it.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

The proposed amendment is that clause 10, sub-clause (4), line 5, after the word “or” insert “to”. So, it would be “or to both”. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 10 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 11 -- Meetings of the Board.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 11 -- subclause (3), line 2, after “Board” delete “in respect of a particular matter”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, this is to limit the discretion -- the new rendition would be

“The quorum at a meeting of the Board is six members of the Board or a greater number determined by the Board”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

We have handled these types of clauses before. I think that there should be a further amendment to it. So, look at it properly; there are too many “Boards” in that clause.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I believe that the Hon Chairman is referring us to the words after the first “Board” in line (2). So, it should read: “The quorum at a meeting of the Board is six members of the Board”. Mr Speaker, it is as simple as that.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee, what do you say to the new rendition?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chireh, the Hon Chairman is deferring to you.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, this is an extended provision and the reason is that we cannot have, as he is saying, the quorum that is “six members” as proposed and at the same time, “a greater number determined by…”. What is that number? So normally, we leave it as it is so that we would have, with your permission I read: “The quorum at a meeting of the Board is six members of the Board or a greater number determined by the Board in respect of a particular matter”. The reason they do this is that, if one is going to pass a budget of the whole Fund or the Board, and one thinks that a higher number should be there, it should be in the guidelines or some understanding by the Board. So it is the Board that determines it. If we have that number, as the Hon Majority Leader is suggesting, if we leave it at six members, it means that the quorum, does not matter what would be discussed. If the meeting is to talk about something important, which things are important and which are not? If we leave it at this, then the Board would in no doubt always have a quorum of six members. Mr Speaker, when they think that a matter is so crucial that they would need a higher number to form the quorum, you would then determine that. Now, the question we have always asked is, would we provide a regulation, a guideline or an under-standing between the Board members so that we would know that when it comes to financial matters, this is the number which would form the quorum? Mr Speaker, I believe that the draftspersons put it like this so that the Board itself can decide when they want to form a quorum but the regular quorum should be stated and that is six members.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, are you supporting the proposal or you are speaking against it?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, in effect, I am opposing his amendment and even the further amendment of the Hon Majority Leader. I say that there is no need for an amendment.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

This clause is similar to earlier clauses in other Bills we have considered. We have taken a position on this and that position is what the Hon Majority Leader articulated. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 11, subclause (4), line 2, after “Board”, insert “other than the Chief Executive Officer” Mr Speaker, we would want to exclude the Chief Executive officer from chairing meetings of the Board. The Board is responsible for exercising oversight responsibility of managers over the Fund. So, in the absence of the chairperson, we would not want the Chief Executive officer himself chairing a meeting of the Board.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Well, Hon Members, I am sure that you heard the Hon Chairman. So, the amendment has been proposed for your consideration.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, respectfully, it should read: “And in the absence of the chairperson, a member of the Board other than the Chief Executive Officer …”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, the insertion is after “Board”?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, rightly so. [Pause.] Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 11 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I get the impression that you are exhausted.

Speaker
Some Hon Members

Mr Speaker, no.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

This is because when I put the Question I hear only one or two voices in spite of your numbers which is indicative that you have run out of steam. Hon Majority Leader, is it the sense of the House that we should continue?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, it is not only the intention of the House that we should continue but the House is resolved that we continue.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

The House is resolved?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, it is resolved and purposed.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

My attention was not drawn to the Resolution.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, we are not only resolved but we are purposed to continue. Question put and amendments agreed to. Clause 11 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 12 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 13 -- Committees of the Board.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 13, subclause (2), delete “13” and insert “12”. Mr Speaker, this is to rectify a wrong cross-referencing. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 13 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 14 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 15 -- Ministerial directive.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 15, subclause (2), delete.

Speaker
Mr Boamah

Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Chairman of the Committee to explain to us why he wants subclause (2) to be deleted.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, subclause 2 says that the directives given by the Minister shall be consistent with government policy on the development of Zongo communities.” Mr Speaker, we felt that leaving it at subclause (1) would be sufficient. We do not want the case where the Board is refusing to comply with a directive of the Hon Minister on the grounds that it is not consistent with government policy. So, by deleting (2), we would be in safe territory.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, I am with you. Let me listen to Hon Yieleh Chireh.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I think that, the subclause (2) does not add any bad thing. It says that the Hon Minister should not just be giving directives but he must give directives that are consistent with government policy on Zongo development. Does he want the Hon Minister to give directives that are contrary to government policy? He brought the thing like that and now wants to remove it. Why do you do that? He should not be doing that. You should hold the Hon Minister tightly to given policies that are consistent.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you are addressing Mr Speaker, and so I could not have been the one that brought it.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, just a minute. Let me listen to Hon Afenyo-Markin.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, as we all do know, the government policy emanates from the Cabinet and the Hon Minister cannot be issuing directives other than what he has seen, heard and beheld from Cabinet. In any event, this construction in clause (15) (1) conforms to the common template that exists in all legislations that we have crafted in this House. It does not

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Wa West?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, while I agree, I would want to make a further amendment. He said, that subclause (2) talks about Government policy, but this one just talks about policy. So we should further add “Government policy”. Mr Speaker, I beg to move that we add “Government policy” to the first --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, there is a further proposed amendment, but let me take the first one; the one that deals with the deletion of subclause (2). The Question is that clause 15, subclause (2), delete. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, this is very clear. There is a danger to give authority to the Board to decide whether a directive from the Ministry is in accordance with Government's policy. I should not even say “Government policy;” I should say, in accordance with policy. So, I believe it is right that it be deleted. Now, there is a proposed amendment to clause 15, subclause (1), and I think that is for the House to debate. The proposed amendment is that clause 15, subclause (1), line 2, after “of”, insert “Government”. So, the new rendition is: “The Minister may give directives in writing to the Board on matter of government policy and the Board shall comply.” Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, a moment ago, in deleting subclause (2), you said you would not even say “Government policy”, but “policy”. What is Government policy? Mr Speaker, “policy” suffices, so it should be just “policy”. There is no value addition. So, I am in opposition to the amendment.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

No, there is value addition. It changes the whole clause. This is because, this clause says that the Hon Minister could give directives in respect of policy matters. It is not operational or administrative, but policy matters. Now, he talked about Government policy. So, it changes the nature and character of the clause. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, as I indicated, we are not reinventing the wheel. If we look at all the Bills we have crafted in this House, we have resorted to this language. Of course, I agree that if for over a thousand years we have been doing what is wrong, we may have to do what is right if our attention is drawn to that matter, except that I do not see anything wrong with this construction. Mr Speaker, we all know that as I indicated, a policy is not determined by the Hon Minister. It is a Government decision at the Cabinet level, and that is the import of article 76 (2). So we all know. Otherwise, we would have to import every single word in the Constitution into the crafting of legislations, which would make it an exercise in the superfluity. So, I believe we could live with what is here.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, since the proposers are in opposition to it, I withdraw. Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House. Clause 15 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Clause 16, I would put the Question. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, you may put the Question. I rose in respect of a different matter.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

A different matter?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Yes, Mr Speaker. So, put the Question --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

All right, let me put the Question. Question put and Motion agreed to. Clause 16 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, mine relates to a minor matter, which I guess we inadvertently glossed over. It has to do with clause 12, subclause (1), paragraph (a). It is a minor amendment. “(1) A member of the Board who has an interest in a matter for consideration shall (a) disclose the nature of the interest…” Mr Speaker, we have often added that the disclosure should be in writing. It is just a minor matter. We need to insert “in writing” in clause 12, subclause (1), paragraph (a) to read: “(a) disclose the nature of the interest in writing and the disclosure shall form part of the record of consideration of the matter; and”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Well, Hon Majority Leader, I think this would be for a Second Consideration Stage, since we have taken a decision on this clause.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, except to observe, that often times, the Chair, including your good Hon Self, could even relax the rules. But I would not test your resolve. If it would have to go by a Second Consideration Stage, I would apply myself to that.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

It is not me. It is the Standing Orders. I am to interpret the Standing Orders to guide the House. That is what I am simply doing. I am not doing it technically; I am doing it judiciously. I do not add religiously.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, on the amendment proposed on clause 17, I cannot see the Hon Minority Leader. I do not know whether there is authority for this proposed amendment to be moved? Yes, Hon Minority Whip?

Speaker
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17, subclause (2), line 2, after “Board” delete “and perform any other function determined by the Board”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, could you explain?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Well, it is the choice of words between “decision” and “function”. Yes, Hon Chairman, what do you have to say about that?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, we have no objection.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

You have no objection? Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, the decisions of the Board would pertain to Board meetings, but any other matter determined by the Board may not necessarily be from the Board's meetings. [Interruption.] Yes, that could happen. So normally, we put it this way so that if the Board has any other functions to add -- We are defining the functions of the Chief Executive Officer; we are not just talking about the Board's meetings alone.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Whip, I would want the Hon Member for Wa West to clarify how the Board would determine a function without a Board meeting. [Pause.] Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 17 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 18 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 19 -- Appointment of other staff.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

There is a proposed amendment in the name of the Hon Chairman of the Committee and the Hon Minority Leader. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 19, subclause (2), line 2, delete “Chief Executive Officer of the Fund” and insert “Board”.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, hold your breath. I think this is very clear, and I would proceed to put the Question. Yes, Hon Member for Effutu?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, you had indicated to the House after the Hon Chairman of the Committee had moved the amendment that he should hold his breath, and that it was very clear. Now, an Hon Member got up to say that it is not clear. If the Hon Member is challenging your ruling on this, he must come properly to challenge the indication that you gave. Mr Speaker, the Constitution is also very clear on this in article195 (2). This is because it is an appointment into an office that is deemed public.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, article 195 (2) provides, and with your permission, I beg to read

“The President may, subject to such conditions as he may think fit, delegate some of his functions under this article by directions in writing to the governing council…” In this case, it is the Board, but not the Chief Executive Officer. Mr Speaker, I beg to quote: “…or to a committee of the council or to any member of that governing council…” Mr Speaker, the language is very clear. That was why you stopped the Hon Chairman of the Committee, and said to him that it was very clear. So, if the Hon Member, after you had given the ruling, got up to say that it is not very clear, that in itself seeks to challenge your ruling. Mr Speaker, that cannot be tolerated. I may plead with the Chair. I do not want to tell him to apologise to the Chair, but that he should go and sin no more. He cannot challenge the ruling of Mr Speaker. The other thing is that, article 195 (2) of the Constitution is very clear on that. Mr Speaker, you may put the Question and provide some relief to us.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Wa West?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. The Hon Majority Leader did very well in putting my Hon Friend to order. In citing the Constitution, he left out another part of the same subclause. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read: “The President may, subject to such conditions as he may think fit, delegate some of his functions under this article by directions in writing to the governing council concerned or to a committee of the council or to any member of that governing council or to any public officer.” Mr Speaker, that is important, because if “any public officer” is left out, the Chief Executive is a public officer. I am arguing the Hon Majority Leader's case, but when he quotes the Constitution, he should quote it completely. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 19 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, there is some disorder in the House. I may kindly draw your attention to Standing Order 15 of this House, and it deals with order in the House. Apart from the rules, there are some powers that have been bestowed on the Rt Hon Speaker; but for good reasons, those powers have never been exercised. However, if the Rt Hon Speaker is compelled to, they would be exercised; but the consequences are grave. That is why Rt Hon Speakers refrain from exercising those powers. I would not be pushed to the wall to do so. Hon Members, are we together? Hon Chairman of the Committee, there is complete disorderly conduct. I do not want to apply the rule, so we would move to clause 20. Clause 20 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 21 -- Disbursement from the Fund.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 21, subclause (1), line 2, delete “the policy guidelines of the Fund” and insert “Regulations made under this Act”. Mr Speaker, this is to ensure consistency with clause 30, though we have not gotten there yet. Clause 30 talks about Regulations. So, in place of “guidelines”, we would have “regulations”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, clause 21 (1) would now read

“The moneys of the Fund shall be disbursed in accordance with regulations made under this Act.”

Speaker
Mr Afenyo-Markin

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member for Effutu?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee, there is a second amendment.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 21, subclause (2), delete. Mr Speaker, this is to ensure that the arrangements for disbursement of moneys for the Funds are provided for in the Regulations.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Mahama Ayariga?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, I believe when we came to the functions of the Board, I did not recall any amendment to clause 8, subclause (2) (d). Mr Speaker, one of the functions of the Board is to define the criterion for the disbursement of the Funds. So, we have indicated this as one of the functions of the Board.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, again, in clause 21 (2), it reads

“The Board shall in writing provide arrangements for disbursement of moneys from the Fund”. Mr Speaker, now, we have deleted clause 21 (2). So what are the implications of that on clause 8 (2) (d), which vests the Board with the function of defining the criterion for the disbursement of funds?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, there was an amendment to clause 21 subclause (1). We deleted the “policy guidelines of Board” and inserted “regulations made under this Act”. Now, it is the Regulations that would determine how the arrangements are to be made. So I believe there is no lacuna there. Perhaps, when we get to the Regulations, you should make sure that it captures this issue. Hon Member, are you satisfied?

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am not against Regulations, but we may have to revisit clause 8 (2) (d). Clause 8 (2) (d) gives them that function. That is my argument. It gives them the function to define the criterion for disbursement of funds, but then subsequently, we take it away from them. Mr Speaker, we have done so because Regulations are made by the Hon Minister and not by the Board. This is the situation where the powers of the Hon Minister to make Regulations is not even at the instance of the Board or on the advice of the Board. So, the Hon Minister could make his Regulations without regard to what the Board may say; yet, there is clause 8 (2)

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

(d), which vests the Board with the function to define the criterion for disbursement. Mr Speaker, therefore, we may have to go back to either delete that function vested in the Board, or if we are retaining that function, then we would have to reconsider this amendment that we are pushing.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I agree that clause 8 (2) (d) would be inconsistent with what we are doing now. So, we may go back and delete “define” over there, so that they would just ensure compliance with the criterion to be set in the Regulations. So, maybe, a Second Consideration --

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I believe the concern of going to clause 8 does not arise because the Hon Minister does not take that responsibility. Indeed, the Regulations would define how the Board does that. So, there is no contradiction. The Hon Member is concerned about the fact that when the Hon Minister makes the Regulations, it is not on the advice of the Board; but he cannot also make these Regulations without the Board, because it is the Board that would say these are the details, and how we would want to define them. This is what we should do. So, I believe there is no contradiction in leaving that thing as a function there. Then coming to the Regulations, they cannot take away what substantively belongs in the Act. It is provided for in the Act, and the Regulations cannot take

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Well, it is too late to go back to clause 8, but the issue could be raised at a Second Consideration Stage. The Hon Member for Wa West talked about it because a law has laid down that procedure to be followed by Ministries and Boards. So, we should ensure that we do not have Minister who would climb over the Board to deal with only the management, and get the L.I. brought to Parliament without passing them through the Board, so that the Board can put some of these concerns into the Instrument. I believe that is the issue the Hon Member for Bawku Central raised. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 21 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 22 -- Expenses of the Fund

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 22 Add the following new subclause: “(3) The expenses specified in sub- clauses (1) and (2) shall not exceed five per cent of the total budgetary allocation of the Fund.” Mr Speaker, this is to place a cap on the administrative expenses of the Fund. Mr Speaker, I would want to further amend the subclause (3). Substitute subclauses” to “subsections”. This is because this would then be in the Act, so, it should be “subsections (1) and (2). So, now, the new subclause (3) would be: “The expenses specified in subsections (1) and (2) shall not exceed five per cent of the total budgetary allocation of the Fund.”

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I agree in principle with the amendment, but if we say “budgetary allocation” -- We should look at the sources of the Fund because it is any amount that they have, and not necessarily the budgetary allocation. When we say “budgetary allocation” are we talking about the allocation Parliament would make to the Fund, in which case the percentage is circumscribed only to what Parliament has approved? If other sources come, could they not get a higher amount of money from that? If the intention is to limit them in budgetary allocation; in this case, which budgetary allocation? Is it then a yearly matter or what? There are other sources apart from what Parliament would allocate to the Fund. So, if the Hon Chairman can clarify that, it would be a good thing.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, the principle is good, but the rendition is problematic.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I would want to further amend “the total budgetary allocation of the Fund” to read, “total moneys approved by Parliament for the Fund”. This is because in clause 5 (a), we have moneys approved by Parliament. It is those moneys approved by Parliament that we would want to limit expenditure from two to five per cent. We are not placing any cap on other sources for now.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, you may have to reconsider this proposed amendment, but let me listen to the Hon Member for Bawku Central.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, it is perfectly possible that the other sources of funding for this Fund may exceed the budgetary allocation from Government. It is perfectly possible. In that case, we still do not want to see them spend 40 per cent of those resources on administrative expenses. So, across board, we would want to limit, I believe, their administrative expenses to five per cent of whatever it is that they have. So, Mr Speaker, I believe it is better to say “the annual income of the Fund” itself.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

“Income”? Where is that word coming from? Let me listen to the Hon Chairman. I will come back to you. Hon Chairman, do you defer to the Hon Member for Wa West?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I believe what the Hon Chairman said is correct. It should be “moneys approved by Parliament”. This is because if people donate and we use it to run the Fund's activities, they would not do so. It is what we give that -- In fact, if we also open it up and they get so much, indeed, it would not be good. I do not even think that we should have this. If we get some Emirate emir who gives US$100 billion, do we think that they

Speaker
Mr Chireh

should take five per cent? No, it should be moneys approved. So, I further seek his leave to amend by saying “moneys approved by Parliament” as captured in clause 5.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, you would have to also consider the import of clause 22 (1) because it says: “The salaries of employees of the Fund shall be the same as those applicable to employees of equivalent status in the Public Service …”. Therefore, you cannot quantify how much that would work up to. Now, if in a year, the moneys approved by Parliament are that low, are you by this saying that we would have to reduce their salaries in order to comply with this additional subclause you are proposing? This is because the budgetary allocation for the year might be very low. And so, there is lack of clarity in this proposed amendment. You may have to re-look at it. Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I would want to read out this new rendition if it would sit well with us. That, “the expenses specified in subclause (2) shall not exceed five per cent of the total moneys approved by Parliament”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, this is clearer and so I will proceed to put the question. Clause (22), add a new—

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, we are saying that the staff who are to be appointed, are to be appointed under article 195. And those of them who may be appointed, are going to be appointed into public office. Mr Speaker, so, they become public servants. And officers within the Public Service have their emoluments charged on the Consolidated Fund. So, I believe subclause (1) is irrelevant.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

We do not have problem with subclause (1). That is not the proposal. Clause 22 (1) is all right. I wanted to put the Question and read the proposed amendment in full so that Hon Members can appreciate it better. This is because we are not touching clause 22 (1). We are simply saying that we should restrict the five per cent to clause 22 (2). We do not have to add clause 22 (1). So, the proposed amendment is that, the new subclause to be added should read, ‘the expenses specified in subclause (2) shall not exceed five per cent of the total moneys approved by Parliament'. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, we want to have as much quantum as possible of the Fund going to development. So, i f you combine subclauses (1) and (2) and say that, the two together should not exceed five per cent of moneys approved by Parliament —

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Sorry, we are not combining (1) and (2), it is only (2).

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, that is exactly what I am leading to. If we put (1) and (2) together and said that it should not exceed five per cent , that would even make it a smaller amount. Now, if we limit the five percentage expenditure to subclause (2) and come to conjoin subclause (1), it would be bigger. And I am saying that it would exact a bigger impact on the Fund and yet we require a huge proportion to be committed to development. Mr Speaker, that is the issue I am raising. It is for that reason, for instance, when you come to apprise yourself to the District Assemblies, they are allocated moneys from the Consolidated Fund but for the payment of the Assembly Members, the Constitution is clear, that they can only be paid from the Internally Generated Fund (IGF). This is because they want as much as possible of the amounts transferred to the District Assemblies to be committed to development. That is the point I am making, that we should be careful. I believe if we disjoin subclause (1) and subclause (2), it would make the expenditure that would impact on the Fund higher, leaving a smaller percentage to be committed to development. That is my worry.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Majority Leader, you have a point there, but when you read clause 22 (1), there is also an issue that it raises. This is because you do not know the quantum of the amount that would be used to pay the salaries of the employees. So, we may flag the clause for further consideration.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, what I wanted them to suggest is that, rather than charging it on the Fund, it should be on the Consolidated Fund. That is the point I made, and that is in respect of clause 22 (1).

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, I am sure you have got the proposal from the Hon Majority Leader. He is proposing that in clause 22 (1), instead of the salaries of employees being

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

charged on the Fund, it should rather be charged on the Consolidated Fund. This is because they are part of the Public Service. That is his proposal.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

In which case we could delete clause 22 (1) altogether. This is because if they are public services --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

We do not need to delete the whole of subclause 1. We have passed similar provisions in other Bills.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

So, we could say that it shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 22, subclause (1), line 3, after “the”, insert “Consolidated”.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, under the situation where we would put the one that we have agreed on which would exclude clause 22 (1), and then he would move his amendment to clause 22 (1) to make them Public Servants --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I would want us to build the consensus before I put the Question.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

We agree with him.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

You have agreed? I would put the Question on the first amendment. The Question was clause 22, add the following new subclause. The numbering would be done by the draftspersons. “(3) The expenses specified in subclauses (1) and (2) shall not exceed five per cent of the total moneys approved by Parliament.”

Speaker
Dr Appiah-Kubi

Mr Speaker, mine is a point of clarification. Are we talking about recurrent expenses or any expenditure? In my opinion, we need to distinguish between recurrent administrative expenses that we want to limit to a certain percentage.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, there was an issue raised by the Hon Majority Leader with regard to the quantum of the amount of the five per cent. I just want to get clarification on that before I put the Question. If we restricted it to only subclause 2, which deals with administrative expenses and still maintained the percentage at five, though it says “not exceeding”, it means that they could take it to five per cent. Depending on the quantum of the budget, that amount could be huge for just administrative expenses. That was why initially, I talked about a reconciliation where the Committee would go back, calculate and see the numbers before we gave them such a sumptuous cheque. I can see you want me to put the Question.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, you know, this Parliament, nobody would give so much to the Fund. This is because almost all the departments -- We from the various Committees ask that if the Hon Minister for Finance found some money, he should add more. There is no way that amount would be too much. How much would we allocate as Parliament to the Zongo Development Fund? The five per cent would not just be spent by the Chief Executive and his people. They would do other things which would include going round, buying four wheel drives, paying of Consultants et cetera. So, it would not be too much. The Government would not vote so much money that five per cent of it would be a waste.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

The proposal did not talk about Budget money. It talked about moneys approved by Parliament which could include some loans and other things that might come around. When you talk about moneys approved by Parliament, do you mean only budgetary money?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I wanted to propose a further amendment, that we delete the word “total”. It is moneys approved by Parliament. This is so that it might not be construed to include grants, loans, internally- generated funds or other moneys that might become lawfully payable to the Fund. So, it is the first leg of clause 5 (a), “moneys approved by Parliament”. Let us delete the word “total”, so that it would not be misconstrued. It would simply be “moneys approved by Parliament”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, there is a further amendment to the clause. The new rendition would read: “(3) The expenses specified in subclause (2) shall not exceed five per cent of the moneys approved by Parliament.” Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I would put the Question on the other proposed amendment. That is clause 22 (1), line 3, after the word “the”, insert “Consoli- dated”. So, it would read, “Consolidated Fund”.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, it is implied when we mention salaries. In several parts of the Constitution, “salaries” is read to include allowances, facilities and privileges.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, which clause or article or section did you read? You defined the word “salary”.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, article 71 (3) defines the word “salaries” to include allowances, facilities and privileges and even retiring benefits. Mr Speaker, there are so many places in the Constitution, so it is implied.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, in the “Interpretation” section, we do not have the word “salaries” defined to include benefits and other allowances. Mr Speaker, very well --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I heard the Hon Majority Leader say that it is implied, but truly in the Constitution-

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, to make assurance double sure and to make it clear, there is no harm to add the word “allowances”. So, the new rendition of clause 22 (1) would be as follows: “The salaries and allowances of employees of the Fund shall be the same as those applicable to employees of equivalent status in the Public Service and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund”.

Speaker
Mr Asamoa

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, is your issue on the same subclause?

Speaker
Mr Asamoa

Mr Speaker, just to observe that if we would want to expand it, then we might as well go the whole way. This is because you have opened it up, but ended at “allowances”. Mr Speaker, article 71(3) of the Constitution defines “salaries” to include allowances, facilities, privileges and retiring benefits or awards.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, article 194 (7) says, and with your permission, I beg to quote

“The salaries, allowances, facilities and privileges payable…” Mr Speaker, the fear is that if we would want to expand it in extenso, then we might as well put in everything that is likely to be payable. Otherwise, we would open up and restrict it specifically for these two positions only. Mr Speaker, I would rather ask by your leave that we go all the way to include the words “facilities, benefits and other awards” and withdraw the word “allowances”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, it is what the intention of the House is. This is because the definition you referred to is in regard to that article. It is very clear. Article 71 (3) says: “For the purposes of this article, and except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, “salaries” includes…” So, it is only for the purposes of article 71. Article 194 (7), deals with the Public Services Commission and there they added salaries, allowances, facilities and privileges payable. If it is the intention of the House that we should capture all these for the staff who would manage the fund, why not? I thought that the intention was to restrict it initially to “salaries”. Now, you would want to add “allowances, privileges, facilities, retirement benefits and awards”. It is the decision of the House. There is no law which prevents us from doing that, but we must be careful that we do not use all the Fund to pay the staff. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, first, we would not use the Fund. This would come from the Consolidated Fund and I believe what the Hon Member for Adentan referred to in article 71 (3) would referr to article 71(3) office holders, where the salaries is expanded to include benefits and facilities and all that. Mr Speaker, I would want us to limit this to just the word “salaries” and as the Hon Majority Leader said, by implication it would include --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, but do not forget that they are also members of the Public Services of Ghana. Are the members of the Public Services' conditions restricted only to salaries?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I said that “salaries” would include --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, where is it stated that it would include? We would want to make a specific law, so we do not put implications and imply.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

rose

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, I believe you have put the Question already, so even if my Hon Member of Parliament would want to make an amendment, he should come at the Second Consideration Stage --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, why do you say that he should come at the Second Consideration Stage? You have all been proposing amendments in spite of my guidance without notice.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, you have already put the Question on this particular amendment and the House has accepted it.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, the decision has not been taken. I was about to take the decision when the Hon Member arrested it. I put the Question, but the decision was not taken when the Hon Minister stood up, so, I had to recognise him. So, what is the decision of the House, so that I can put the Question?

Speaker
Mr Asamoa

Mr Speaker, I would want to withdraw the intervention. I did not quite --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, would you want to leave it to “salaries and allowances”?

Speaker
Mr Asamoa

Yes, Mr Speaker, I am most grateful.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, this debate would guide the interpretation of this section. It is very important and that is why we are spending some time on it. Clearly, the intention of the House is to limit it to only “salaries and allowances”. We would not add “facilities, privileges, retirement benefits and awards”. That is not part of this section. Hon Chairman of the Committee, are we clear?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I thought we were adding “other benefits”, to read; “salaries, allowances and other benefits”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

“Other benefits”? — That is too wide. Alhaji Boniface — rose —

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Let me recognise the Hon Member for Wa West. I will come to you Hon Minister.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, what we agreed on was that their entitlement should be equivalent to equivalent positions in the Public Services.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

What do they get in the Public Services? I believe that all we should be doing is to ensure that these people be paid as Civil Servants or Public Servants and not any extra money so that they would take the little money that would go and develop the Zongo communities. Mr Speaker, so, once we qualify it by the amendment he has made, saying “salaries” and “allowances” should be to the people in Public Services already. The issue is, they should not get more than the average Public Servant otherwise they would be sponging on the little money that is going to be approved for them.

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Mr Speaker, I am almost on the same line with my Hon Colleague. But we should be mindful of the fact that there is no money. The fact that we are talking of Zongo Fund is not that we are going to get a lot of money where we are going to open up by talking of salaries, allowances, benefits and privileges — [Interruption] — I hold my breath.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Could we use “conditions of service”? This is because that is known at the Public Service as applicable to all the employees of the Public Services. And so we could put it as, “The conditions of service of employees of the Fund shall be equivalent to that in the Public Services and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.”

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, you left out “shall be the same as those applicable to employees of equivalent status”. So, I would rather propose the following rendition:

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I gave a lead. I do not know whether that would be accepted by the House. Instead of us talking about salaries or allowances, we talk about conditions of service. Is that the pleasure of the House? Mr Afenyo-Markin — rose —

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I can see the Hon Member who proposed the amendment still on his feet.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would then read

“The conditions of service of employees of the Fund shall be the same as those applicable to employees of equivalent status in the Public Service and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I think we have resolved the controversy and there is now a consensus which is that, clause 22 subclause (1), line 1, after “The”, delete “salaries” and insert “conditions of service”. The new rendition would read: “The conditions of service of employees of the Fund shall be the same as those applicable to employees of equivalent status in the Public Service and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.” Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 22 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 23 — Application for funding

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Clause 23, sub- clause (3), delete. Mr Speaker, this subclause contradicts clause 30. Subclause (3) talks about the Board determining in writing, the matters for which an application may be made for funding. That is taken care of in clause 30 under Regulations. And so, if we leave this, it would contradict clause 30. So subclause (3) can go.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, the Hon Chairman is moving a Motion to delete clause 23, subclause (3). And that it would be captured under clause 30 — Regulations. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 23 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 24 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 25 -- Accounts and audit

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, clause 25, subclasue (3), delete. Mr Speaker, it is not necessary to single out any particular enactment. All relevant laws are applicable and so the bit about Auditor-General shall not —

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Mr Chairman, I just do not understand you. The fact that it is captured in all other laws does not mean that we should not capture it in this Bill.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, yesterday and today, we submitted ourselves to a new formulation of clause 25. I would plead with the Hon Chairman of the Committee to liaise with the Table Office and the draftspersons to capture what we have done so that it would be in sync with the Constitution, irrespective of clause 25.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, I believe you heard the Hon Majority Leader. It is the rendition that is the problem and you would have to liaise with the draftsperson for it to be properly done to capture the letter and spirit of the provisions in the 1992 Constitution. So we would flag that clause. I would move to clause 26 --

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I believe that there was an error on the Order Paper. The Clerk-at-the-Table just drew my attention. As a matter of fact, it was rather clause 25 (4) so I seek your leave to propose --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

You would go on.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 25, subclause (4), delete Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I would then proceed to the Question on clause 25, but the Hon Majority Leader drew our attention to the rendition in clause 25 (3).

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, in respect of subclauses (1), (2) and (3); as I indicated, we have laboured to improve it to be in sync with the Constitution. That is the reason I said the Chairman should liaise with the Clerks-at- the-Table and the draftspersons to just follow what we did. Mr Speaker, we are talking about the constitutionality or otherwise; it is not whether it is standard. The Chairman was not here with us yesterday and not even this morning.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, the Hon Majority Leader is drawing our attention to the construction of article 25 clauses (1), (2) and (3). I believe the draftspersons are being invited here to give a rendition that would reflect and capture the true spirit and letter of the Constitution. I so direct. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 26 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 27 -- Annual report and other reports

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27, subclause (2), line 2, delete “a performance report” and insert “a report on the performance of the Fund relative to the object of the Fund”. Mr Speaker, this is just to ensure clarity in this provision.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, is this particular drafting from the draftsperson? Clause 27 -- subclause (2), line 2, delete “a performance report” and insert “a report on the performance of the Fund relative to the object of the Fund'. Is this the drafting of the Committee or from the draftspersons?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, it is from the draftsperson from the Auditor- General's Department.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

“Relative to the object of the Fund”? [Pause] Hon Members, I am wondering what the annual report would capture. If not the performance of the Fund, what else would it capture? That is why I have a problem with this provision. I thought the Hon Chairman's proposed amendment would have read: “The annual report of the Fund shall include the report of the Auditor- General”.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, that is captured in clause 25.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Clause 25 deals with “Accounts and audit” but clause 27 deals with “Annual report and other reports”.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I would want to withdraw the amendment.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

No, you do not have to withdraw the amendment. What would the annual report contain? It is about the performance of the Fund -- the activities they carried out throughout the year. But if the Chairman is saying the annual report shall include the report of the Auditor-General and the report on the performance of the Fund relative to the object of the Fund, no! [Interruption.] Hon Chairman, you just do not withdraw the amendment because the last part is also not right. Yes, Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

Speaker
Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I am the Chairman of the Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises Committee. Mr Speaker, I remember very well that when we were doing the Development Authority Bills, we deleted a lot of things and inserted a performance report and the explanation was that, a performance report would take care of a lot of things that we had listed down there. Mr Speaker, whatever amendment that is being proposed here, once we put it as a performance report, it covers everything. So, I would rather support the Hon Chairman if he seeks your leave to withdraw the proposed amendment so that we have the original rendition and what he seeks to propose would be deleted --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I have no problem with granting the leave but I am saying that there should still be a further amendment to clause 27, sub-clause (2). We cannot allow that to stand.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, first of all, as you rightly asked; ‘what is the annual report'? They are adding this performance report relative to the Fund. I do not know whether they want to assess the Fund after one year as to whether it has achieved its objective(s). But the rendition as it is, a performance report would necessarily be a performance of the Fund. Now, if we have an annual report, we also know that the annual report just relates to the activities of the year as implied.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, it would be different but because the headnote says

“Annual report and other reports” any other report would be concerned with the performance

Speaker
Mr Speaker, it would be different but because the headnote says

of the Fund. How has the Fund faired? It may be separate from the annual report and so, the original rendition should be that one. This is because when we say a performance report, sometimes we know that it is required for the Auditor-General to even look at. Mr Speaker, so, I believe that he should drop the amendment and then let us keep the original. This is because with the original rendition, performance cannot be relating to the any other thing apart from the Fund.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Member for Wa West and that was why I sought your leave to withdraw my amendment. So, if we could just go by what is in the original Bill then clause 27 --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I would first grant you the leave to withdraw the proposed amendment. Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I am only supporting the Hon Member for Wa West that we should maintain it at what is in the Bill now and not touch the performance report part of it. This is because we left those parts when we considered the Development Authorities Bill. A performance report actually tells us about how the Fund is performing, and you would have --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, what does an annual report contain? It must contain the performance report.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the annual report relates to the operations and activities of the Fund and I intend for us to go back to clause 27(1) and make that insertion.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, it should include

“It covers the operations and activities of the Fund for the year to which the annual report relates” That is in respect of clause 27 (1) if the Hon Chairman is following what I am saying. In clause 27(1), there are some omissions and we should, after the word “operations”, include the words: “…covering the operations and activities of the Fund for the year to which the annual report relates” Mr Speaker, those words are missing in the definition of the annual report. Having said so, the performance report would include other matters relating, for instance, to the analysis of the impact of the projects being implemented which would be fed back into the report. The annual report on the operations and activities may not necessarily include, for instance, impact analysis and how maybe, it is intended to address whatever. Mr Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt, I think the Hon Chairman himself would want to withdraw that component of the performance report. [Interruption.] Should we maintain the performance report? Mr Speaker, very well. I would just want us to consider those amendments that have been proffered in clause 27(1).

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, what is your proposed amendment at clause 27(1)?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, after the word “operations”, we add “and activities of the Fund for the year to which the annual report relates” So, we insert “annual” before “report” in line (3). The amendment would read: “The Board shall within one month after the receipt of the audit report, submit an annual report to the Minister…

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, so operations do not capture activities? I was wondering the elements of operations, does it not include activities?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, we have defined the content of the annual report in all those Bills that we have done to cover the activities and operations of the entity that we are dealing with. So, in this case, it is: “The activities and operations of the Fund for the year to which that annual report relates”. I think that is the template that we have adopted in all the Bills that we have done.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, let me get back to clause 27(2) which proposed amendment has been withdrawn by the Hon Chairman. We now have a new proposal from the Hon Majority Leader and that is with respect to clause 27(1), line (3), after the word “operations”, we insert “and activities” Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I will put the Question on the whole of clause 27 --

Speaker
Mr Sameul Attah-Mills

Mr Speaker, if we look at clause 27(1), it says that: “The Board shall, within one month after the receipt of the audit report, submit an annual report to the Minister…” But if we look at clause 27(2), it reads: “The annual report shall include the report of the Auditor-General…” Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General has six months to produce a report, so in that case, this Board cannot send an annual report to the Hon Minister within one month. So, I think that clause 27(2) should be deleted. That is my proposal.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, clause 27(4) is dealing with other reports.

Speaker
Mr Attah-Mills

Mr Speaker, no. I was talking about sub-clause (2).

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Sub- clause 2? “The annual report shall include the report of the Auditor-General and the performance report”

Speaker
Mr Attah-Mills

Mr Speaker, my proposal is that the Auditor-General has six months to produce the audit report but subclause (1) says: “The Board shall, within one month after the receipt of the audit report, …” Mr Speaker, the audit report would be their internal audit report. “… submit an annual report to the Minister…”

Speaker
Mr Attah-Mills

Mr Speaker, so, if we are asking them that after their internal audit, they should submit a report within one month, and the Auditor-general has six months -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, clause 27(1) is about the Auditor-General's Report, it is not the internal audit report. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member has conceded and so --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I think that there is nothing wrong with the sequence as stated in the clause. So, I would put the Question again --

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, there was just the other little amendment that you glossed over; the word “annual” before “report” in line 3 to which the annual report relates.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Which subclause are you referring to?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, subclause 27 (1).

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I put the Question on that subclause.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I said that you missed that other amendment I proffered which is the insertion of “annual” before “report” so that it would read: “The Board shall, within one month after the receipt of the audit report, submit an annual report to the Minister covering the operations and activities of the Fund for the year to which the annual report relates.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Your proposal is for us to repeat the “annual”? Hon Members, I would put the Question again. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 27 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clauses 28 to 30 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 31 -- Interpretation

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, before I go to the advertised amendment, I beg to seek your leave to move an amendment not advertised on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Leave granted.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that clause 31 -- Interpretation of Minister, delete “of State”. The new rendition would read: “Minister means the Minister responsible for Inner-City and Zongo Development.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, what is wrong with the current rendition?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development is a full-fledged Ministry. It is not a Ministry under the Presidency as it were. It is a full Ministry. The Executive Instrument that came to Parliament created the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

But the current rendition does not say that it is a Minister of State under the Office of the President. Every Hon Minister is a Hon Minister of State. Look at article 78 (1) of the Constitution.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, but earlier, we amended some sections of this same Bill where for consistency, we used the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Ministries?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development. Mr Speaker, I have not seen any Bill crafted here where, for instance, we said “the Minister of State for Finance.” It would be the Minister responsible for Finance but not Minister of State responsible for Finance. Mr Speaker, so, inasmuch as every Hon Minister is an Hon Minister of State in drafting laws here we have not --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, your proposal is that we should delete “of State”?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, rightly so.

Speaker
Mr Attah-Mills

Mr Speaker, I beg to move a further amendment, that instead of saying “Inner-City and Zongo Development”, we should just limit it to the “Minister responsible for Zongo Development”. This is because that is what we are talking about. Mr Speaker, so, that we would be consistent.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, as a matter of fact and for consistency, in clause 7 (1), paragraph (c), we used “Ministry responsible for Inner-City and Zongo Development”. So, we are just repeating same here in the Interpretation section.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I would put the Question. The Question is that clause 31, the definition of the word “Minister” should read as follows: “Minister” means the Minister responsible for Inner-City and Zongo Development.” Question put and amendment agreed to. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, in this Bill, the focus is on the Minister responsible for the development of the Zongo Communities. We said to ourselves that the focus should be on the Ministry responsible for Zongo Development. So, we cannot come here and change the meaning again. Mr Speaker, I propose that “Minister” means the Minister responsible for Zongo Development” wherever we find it, and not Inner-City. In this Bill, the focus is not on inner city. It is on the Ministry responsible for Zongo Development. Mr Speaker, this would be in sync with the amendment we did earlier.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I recall that when we got to clause 7, the Hon Member for Bawku Central advanced an argument, and in my mind, we settled on that. So, if the Hon Member for Bawku Central could --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman for the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises?

Speaker
Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to seek your direction here. In my view, this is the first time, and this is the interpretation section defining the Ministry. Already, there is an existing law that is gazetted as the Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, this is defining the “Minister” and not the “Ministry”.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Yes, Mr Speaker, this is defining the “Minister”, but the existing Ministry is named as the “Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development.” So, is there any Ministry called the Ministry of Zongo Development, simplicita? No! It is the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development. This is established by Executive Instrument (E. I.). So, I was of the view that when we are defining the “Minister”, it means the Minister responsible for Inner-City and Zongo Development. And I seek your guidance in this area.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I drew your attention to the fact that we are talking about the Minister. We are not talking about the Ministry. And we are dealing with clause 31. It talks about the context of the Bill. This Bill is dealing with Zongo Development. There is no mention of Inner-City. You were right with the definition of the word “Ministry”, but now, we are talking about the word “Minister”, so we should restrict ourselves to Zongo development. And so, the Hon Majority Leader is right. It should read: “Minister” means the Minister responsible for Zongo Develop- ment”. Hon Majority Leader, I would put the Question on your amendment. No, there is no disorder. But the responses completely -- No, I would not adjourn the House. We would finish the Bill before we go. I just wanted to draw your attention. We just need a few more minutes to finish the work on the Bill. And so, I would not be diverted again. I would put the Question again; clause 31, the definition of the word “Minister” should be as follows: “Minister means the Minister responsible for Zongo Develop- ment”. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee, I can see a few more proposed amendments.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move clause 31 -- Interpretation of “Zongo community” delete and insert the following: “‘Zongo community means a community characterised as a deprived community and designa- ted as such by the Minister, in writing, on the advice of the Board.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, draw my attention to where “Zongo community” has been used in the Bill. Which clause? I can see it in the interpretation section, in clause 2 and in the Long Title.

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I hear Hon Members saying I should add “I so move”. This is not what I have learnt in the House, that when an Hon Member moves an amendment, he says “I so move”. Mr Speaker, at Committee, we battled on this definition of Zongo community. It has gone back and forth. Mr Speaker, if you would permit me, I would rather say we leave this and come back. This is because it would —

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, let us get the essence of the Bill. Do not dilute and undermine its focus. The definition goes beyond the intendment of this Bill. So, we would have to reconsider it. As for the rural areas, they are all deprived communities. Now, we are giving the discretion to the Hon Minister to decide which area to carve out as a Zongo community. I think that is very dangerous. So, Hon Chairman, do you withdraw the proposed amendment?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, what we have in the Bill is also problematic. Now, I wish rather we flag it —

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Let us go step-by-step. Hon Chairman, are you withdrawing your proposed amendment?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Rightly so, Mr Speaker, I am withdrawing the amendment.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Now, let us go to your second issue. What is the problem with the current rendition?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, if you look at the current rendition in the Bill, it talks about a Zongo community being mainly a heterogeneous one comprising various ethnic groups with different religions, where the predominant religion is Islam. Mr Speaker, some Hon Members have Zongo communities in their constituencies, where the predominant religion is not Islam. There are other communities where the predominant language is not Hausa. If we went by this definition and looked at different Zongo communities, I would think Hon Members would have their own characterisation here. Mr Speaker, let us all go and sleep, think about it and then, come back tomorrow. Could we stand it down, Mr Speaker?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, I am not persuaded to stand it down. I think we would have to take a decision on this matter. Is there any community called Koforidua Zongo?

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Yes, Mr Speaker. There is a Zongo in Koforidua. But it is the most beautiful Zongo in the whole of West Africa.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, it has been wrongly named. This is because the description of that Zongo is like an Inner- city that is well developed. So, that is not a Zongo, but it is called Zongo. You would have to rename the place. That is Sabon Zongo, not Zongo. Yes, Hon Minister for Inner-city and Zongo Development?

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman would care to know, Koforidua Zongo has become one of the best Zongos because it has a history. If we would want to define Zongo, we have the orthodox definition and the contemporary one. In the past, the reason we have Islam and Hausa was that, these were traders and the word Zango means a “traveller's temporal residence”. Today, it has become permanent. They stayed at the outskirts of town. Today, they are in the centre of every community. If we take a place like Nima, that is why it is defined as a heterogeneous society. In the past, it was a homogenous society but today, it is a heterogeneous one composed of different ethnicities and religions. The most common language spoken in the Zongos is Hausa and the most predominant religion is Islam. Mr Speaker, those communities are deprived, but we cannot have all the three features at the same time. In some place, we would have all the three common features. But elsewhere, for instance, Koforidua Zongo, Islam is the most predominant religion. There are churches and traditional religion there too, but the most predominant religion is Islam. Most of the communities that are classified as Zongos have Hausa names. There is Fadama , Sabon Zongo, Nasarawa and Moshie Zongo. All these are Zongos. But some of my Hon Colleagues see it differently. because they go to a particular place where there is Islam and they claim the place is a Zongo, it is not so. Maybe, it is a settler community. We should get this very clear. Mr Speaker, that is where I fear for somebody telling the Hon Minister to use his own discretion to define where a Zongo is. I would be there and I would be able to identify it. But a different person would one day come and give a different definition to that Zongo, whereas he does not understand the word. Mr Speaker, we should get it very clear. This is because the predominant religion is Islam and the predominant language is Hausa, or the community is characterised by poor living standards. In some places, we can have all the three characteristics, but these two are very common. Mr Speaker, if we talk of Kumasi, we have Moshie Zongo, the word “Moshi” shows clearly that it is a community that is a Zongo. So, we would have to look at it carefully in our definition. If we look at the past, people would see it very clear, because they stayed outside of the communities. Mr Speaker, today as we speak, Tudu, Adabraka, this means “Abalkah” , [Interruption.] it is not a Ga word. It is Hausa word and so is Madina, Nima and Kaukudi. They are all typical features of Zongos —

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Oyarifa. [Laughter.]

Speaker
Alhaji Boniface

Oyarifa is -- Mr Speaker, I beg to ask that the definition be maintained, because that would help whoever would come. That does not mean that it must have all the features. When we go to Nima, we have a church sharing common boundaries with a mosque. Mr Speaker, Ghana's Zongos are the best one could get all over the world. They are very peaceful. Koforidua Zongo is one of the best. So, it is something that we would want to use as a better edifice for people in other countries in West Africa to emulate. Several Hon Members — rose —

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I thought we have debated this before. I would like to recognise my very good Friend. Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei

Mr Speaker, I think the purpose of the Bill is to establish the Zongo Development Fund to help develop Zongo communities to become centres of opportunity. Mr Speaker, we would want to develop and uplift pro-poor people, to become rich.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

If they are pro poor people?

Speaker
Mr Asafu-Adjei

Yes, pro poor. We would want to improve their standard of living. Pro-poor means very poor people. [Uproar.] — [Interruption] — I said for poor people. So, they would want to uplift their living standard from being poor to rich.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

On a point of oder. Hon Member, is it a point of order?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, pro-poor cannot mean very poor people. It is for poor as against anti-poor. So, it cannot be poorer or poorest people. So, pro means “for”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

The Hon Member was speaking American English.

Speaker
Mr Asafu-Adjei

Mr Speaker, if it is for poor people as the Hon Member is saying, then we would want to lift their standards of living. Mr Speaker, secondly, if they live in poor homes, we would want to provide them with better ones. If their education is at a lower level, we would want to lift it up. That is what the Bill seeks to do.

Speaker
Mr Asafu-Adjei

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Members, I recall you spent a long time on this Floor trying to define “Zongo”, when we were dealing with one of the clauses and you would want to repeat the same. Hon Members, I am sorry that we do not have much time now. So, I can only take two more contributors, one from each Side of the aisle. I would want to hear the voices of those I have not heard from today. These persons must understand Zongo affairs. In Moshi Zongo, the dominant language is “Moshi” and not “Hausa”. So, Hon Member, you are disqualified. Yes, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Collins Owusu Amankwah

Mr Speaker, it is important to put on record that I have the largest Zongo community within the Kumasi Metropolis and that is Moshi Zongo. It could even be in the whole of Ghana. Mr Speaker, going by the current rendition --

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Sorry, but Hon Member, what is the current population of the Moshi Zongo?

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, over 56,000 people.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, what are the population of the other Zongos?

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, I can only speak for myself. We have over 56,000 people.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

I am asking you because of your earlier statement that it is the largest Zongo community in the country.

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, that is on record, and it has not been disproved. So, I would go by the statistics as it stands now, that Moshi Zongo is the single largest Zongo community within the Kumasi Metropolis.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, what is your source? [Uproar.] Please, you may proceed.

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, it was based on situational analysis by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, going by the current rendition that

“ ‘Zongo community' means a heterogeneous community com- prising various ethnic groups with different religions, where; a. The predominant religion is Islam; b. The predominant language is Hausa and the community is characterized by poor living conditions.” Mr Speaker, in my opinion, we should maintain the current rendition, but I have to make a further amendment. Mr Speaker, I believe the definition is very simple. We are talking about Zongo, and it is an Hausa word.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you should read Standing Order 47.

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, Standing Order 47 reads, and I beg to quote: “The proceedings of Parliament shall ordinarily be conducted in the English Language, except that a Member may exercise the option to address the House in either Akan, Nzema, Ga, Ewe, Dagbani, Dagaare or in any other local language provided facilities exist in the House for its interpretation.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I preceded your name with the word “Honourable”, and so you have to behave honourably.

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, I read: “… Akan, Nzema, Ga, Ewe, Hausa, Dagbani, Dagaare or in any other local language, provided facilities exist in the House for its interpretation.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, what is Hausa?

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, this does not legitimise Hausa as an official language of the country. Even though, per the Standing Orders, it has been provided. Mr Speaker, I would want to move on by saying that we are talking about Zongo. A Zongo is an Hausa word which means travelers' camp or stop-over. Of course, it was used by the colonial officials. It is in our statutes.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, please, conclude.

Speaker
Mr Amankwah

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I believe we should go by the current rendition by deleting the paragraph (b) which is giving premium to the Hausa language so that it becomes: “ ‘Zongo community' means a heterogeneous community comprising various ethnic groups with different religions where: (a) The predominant religion is Islam and (b) the community is characterised by poor living conditions.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

You are not from a Zongo community, and so, I would give it to Hon Mahama Ayariga.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that there is a difficulty in providing a definition for “zongo” that would be scientific. Mr Speaker, I dare say that those of us who are familiar with zongos, have lived in zongos, related to zongos and have worked in zongo communities know that there are certain characteristics that can be used to identify a zongo community. Mr Speaker, many communities are poor. It is everywhere. So, poverty per se cannot be a defining feature of a zongo community. Mr Speaker, that people from

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Please conclude.

Speaker
Mr Ayariga

But in this instance, if we are dealing with zongos, these three characteristics are apt and should be the defining features of a zongo community.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, please, this is a matter of government policy. It is a deliberate, conscious policy targeted to solve a problem. So, we can only be guided by government in this matter. I have listened to the Hon Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development. The only person I would give opportunity now is the Hon Majority Leader and from there, we can properly take a decision on this matter.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I really do not intend to provide any further clarification to what is contained in the Bill. As you said, you have listened to various Hon Members and unfortunately, not everyone would be satisfied with what is provided here. Generally, we accept that this indeed is the closest definition as possible. Mr Speaker, further to the suggestions that have come from Hon Members who have contributed to this, I believe we still can close the chapter on that, take a vote and if Hon Members still feel strongly that they should come and revisit the matter by way of a Second Consideration Stage, it could be done. But for the time being, Mr Speaker, I believe we should put the Question on it. The Hon Chairman who moved the Motion for the amendment has withdrawn. What it means is that, the original stands. As I said, if any Hon Member still feels that some further amendments ought to be proffered, Mr Speaker, it could be done at Second Consideration Stage. So with respect, I would plead with you to close the debate and let us take a vote.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Thank you, Hon Majority Leader, I will put the Question -- Clause 31 has earlier been amended when we dealt with “Minister”. Clause 31 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 32 -- Transitional provisions

Speaker
Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, new Clause, add the following new clause: “Guidelines 32. The Board may issue guidelines for the implementation of the provisions of this Act and the guidelines shall be published in the Gazette.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, let me put the Question on clause 32 because what we are talking about is a different thing altogether. Clause 32 deals with “Transitional Provisions”. In any case, I am one of those who is against legislating in an Act, not a Regulation, but an Act of Parliament on guidelines. So, I would proceed to put the Question. You can later on debate the issue of guidelines maybe when I am not in the Chair. Guidelines may come under Regulations, not in a substantive Act of Parliament. Clause 32 ordered to stand part of the Bill. The Long Title ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I would want to commend Hon Members for their endurance, and to plead with them to tolerate the Hon Minister for the President's Special Development Initiatives to run the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 through a Second Consideration before the Third Reading. Mr Speaker, I believe we are left with three or four clauses that we could not agree on, which I think could be taken quickly and then we bring the matter to a closure. I guess we could deal with it because of considerable deliberation on that in about ten or 15 minutes and bring the matter to a closure.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I want to know what the pleasure of the House is. This is because it is after 9.00 p.m. and I am very sure the Hon Majority Leader would not want to take advantage of cooperation and endurance to ask for more. So, please, I would want to be guided because I am tempted to adjourn the House. Yes, Hon Chairman of Committee on Employment and Social Welfare?

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I would want to add my voice in support of the application that was made by the Hon Majority Leader, and say that during the Second Consideration, the clauses that we would be dealing with are matters that have been dealt with and we would want to go through them for consistency. So, there is nothing to be debated. Therefore, we would be very swift in going through the Second Consideration stage.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh?

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, we, on this side sympathise with the position that is being canvassed. But if you look at the fact that it is past 9.00 p.m. and we sat at 10.00 a.m. and not 12.00 p.m., it is important that we are effective in what we do. It is not just a matter of considering Businesses when everybody is tired. Diligence would be lost. Mr Speaker, you would notice that anytime you put the Question, Hon Members are unrespon- sive. So, I beg of the Hon Majority Leader, if he wants us to be serious, the time spent to take lunch at 3.30 p.m. and return at 5.00 p. m. That is where the problem is. When we are to start at 10.00 a.m., we should start at 10.00 a. m. and work diligently. But when one's mental capacity is exhausted, there is no way you can make a meaningful impact. I urge you to adjourn the House.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, certainly, Hon Members are not being forced or indeed, coerced to be part of this. That is why I started by saying that, we are pleading with Hon Members. Mr Speaker, for the records, when we suspended Sitting, the Hon First Deputy Speaker, was here at exactly 3.30 p.m. It was Hon Members who were not around. So, we could not continue deliberations because Hon Members were not present. Mr Speaker, as I said, the issues we would deal with, have already been dealt with. It is just reconciling what we have done in respect of the Coastal Belt Development Bill, 2017 as well as the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill. When we dealt with them, we realised that we could have further improved the Northern Development Authority Bill. So, we are bringing them to be in sync with what we have in the Coastal Development and the Middle Belt Development Bills. The provisions would not be subject to any litigation. That is why I am pleading. But Mr Speaker, as I said, we are at the mercy of Hon Members. The pleasure of the House is what would be done. Mr Speaker, what I did not add is that, the Hon Minister has been with us throughout -- [Interruption.] She is an Hon Minister but she has been with us all this long. That is why I am pleading, that we take whatever is left on the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017. I guess we would be able to deal with it in less than 15 to 20 minutes. I know that Hon Members are quite exhausted and I am only pleading with them.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, the Leader of the House insists that we do some more Business.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, respectfully, I am not insisting, I am only pleading with Hon Members.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

In spite of my prompts, the Hon Majority Leader insists, and now, he says he is pleading with Hon Members to let us do some Business. I doubt whether the Speaker has pleasure in this matter and since I am not sure, I do not want to hazard any opinion. So, I will still depend on the pleasure of the House. The pleasure of the House is that we should take a few more amendments. But let me say that this ends the Consideration Stage of the Zongo Development Fund Bill, 2017. We would now move to the Northern Development Authority Bill at the Second Consideration Stage. The Motion would have to be moved. We would take only thirty minutes on this matter. This is because we talked about lunch and the Hon Speaker was not given lunch. So, I have been famishing up till now. Yes, Hon Chairman, move the Motion.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I am grateful. In accordance with Standing Order 130 (1), I move that the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017, be taken through a Second Consideration Stage in respect of clauses 1, 4, 22, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32 and 34.

Speaker
Mr Banda

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion ably moved by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. Question put and Motion agreed to.

BILLS -- SECOND CONSIDERATION

STAGE

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi)

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 1, subclause (3), line 3, delete “State Property and Contract Act 1960 (C.A. 6)”. This is because we realised that this Act has been amended and is non- existent, so we pray that we delete “State Property and Contract Act 1960 (C. A. 6)”. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, clause 3, paragraph (h), at the beginning, insert “cause”. The new rendition would read: “cause the execution of relevant projects in a community in the Northern Development Zone that would…”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Mr Chairman, you would have to move your Motion again. On the Order Paper, what we have is insert “cause”, but in your speech, you said “cause the execution”.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

That is to say that we had already amended the word “execute” and had inserted “the execution”. That is what we have at the moment, and that was why I only inserted “cause”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

We are talking about clause 3 (h), and you said we had already amended “execute” to read what?

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

To read “execution”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

“Shall execute identified”?

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, in the earlier rendition, we deleted “execute identified” and inserted “shall ensure the execution”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, you would have to take your proposed amendment again.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, the new rendition is to delete “ensure” and insert “cause” before “execution”. The new rendition would read: “cause the execution of relevant projects in a community…”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Now, you have got it right. The rendition I got was that clause 3 (h) was earlier amended by the House to read “ensure the execution of identified relevant projects”. Now, they want us to delete “ensure” and insert “cause”.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, we need to have the Votes and Proceedings for the day the amendment was adopted, so that we could see the wording there. It would be easier. This is because the Hon Chairman just said we earlier did this, but nobody has seen that. So, we need to have him read the Votes and Proceedings to confirm what was amended, and then we would know what he inserted. Otherwise, what he read does not add up.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you would recall that when he moved the Motion, I called on him to do it again because he did not capture what happened the other day. This was because I had a copy of the Votes and Proceedings of that day. On that day, the amendment that was proposed and carried was that paragraph (h), line 1, delete “execute identified” and insert “the execution of”. That was what was agreed to by the House. So, he did not capture that in his proposed amendment, that was why I drew his attention. He has now recaptured it and called on us to preface clause 3 (h) with the word “cause”. So, it would now read: “cause the execution of relevant projects. . .” Are we together now? So, I would take it again. The proposal is that clause 3 (h), preface it with the word “cause”, so it would read: “cause the execution of relevant projects”. This is what has been taken in the other Bills, according to my information. So, that is the new rendition. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, we still have more on clause 3.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (m), line 1, after “statutory” insert “bodies and”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I am sure you got the proposed amendment. So, the new rendition would be: “co-operate with key statutory bodies and institutions…” Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (o), line 3, delete “partnerships” and insert “partnership initiative”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be

“serve as an agent of the Government in public private partnership initiatives in the Northern Development Zone and facilitate public private partnership initiatives directly in the Northern Development Zone;” Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman of the Committee?

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, that is all on clause 3. Clause 3 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (d), line 1, delete “responsible for” and insert “of”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be

“one person from the Ministry of Finance not below the rank of a Director;” Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (e), delete “Ministry” and insert “Office of the Minister” and in line 2, at end, insert “not below the rank of Director”. Mr Speaker, there was an amendment that was made in paragraph two on page 10 of the Votes and Proceedings of 12th October, 2017, and I would want to seek your leave to propose a further amendment. So, that is the basis of this new proposed amendment. Question put and amendment agreed to

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4 , subclause (1), paragraph (h), line 1, delete “three relevant expertise persons with” and insert “three persons with relevant”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be

“three persons with relevant professional expertise nominated by the President at least one of whom is a woman”. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4, subclause (3), delete and insert the following: “The President shall, in appointing a member of the Board, have regard to fair representation among the Northern Development Zone”.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, with this amendment, I believe the Committee would want to reinstate their earlier proposal because it was deleted in the earlier proceedings. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, that is all on clause 4. Clause 4 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I did not put the Question on the whole of clause 1 -- it was an oversight. Clause 1 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 22, Borrowing powers

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 22, subclause (2), delete. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 22 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 27— Incentives for private sector

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27, subclause (1), paragraph (a), last line, before “economic” insert “social and”. Mr Speaker, I refer the House to the Votes and Proceedings of 12th October, 2017, page 23, paragraph 62. Clause 27 was deleted, and there was a new clause 27, subclause (1) (a) and (b). Mr Speaker, I now seek to correct the new clause 27(1) (a). Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27, subclause (1), paragraph (a), line 6, before “economic”, insert “social and”. So, the new rendition would read: “The Authority may (a) extend support to the private sector, public sector, philanthropic investments and non-profit making organisations in the Northern Development Zone either alone or in co-operation with other public agencies so as to promote accelerated social and economic development; and”.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, clause 27, subclause (1) of the version of the Bill I have does not have paragraphs. It is rather clause 27, subclause (2), but the advertised amendment on the Order Paper seeks to amend clause 27, subclause (1). I do not know how come — [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I referred the House to paragraph 62 of the Votes and Proceedings of 12th October, 2017, and that is how it is captured. It is in order that Hon Members would get it clearly. It is captured as: “(1)The Authority may (a) extend support to the private sector, public sector, philanthropic investments and non-profitmaking organisations in the Northern Development Zone, either alone or in corporation with other public agencies so as to promote accelerated social and economic development; and”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, from the Votes and Proceedings, subclause (1) was deleted. As captured on page 23 of the Votes and Proceedings, as referred to by the Hon Chairman, it says exactly what he has read. That is the record we have. So, it refers to the clause 27(1). Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, there is a further amendment to clause 27.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, that would be all for clause 27. The next item was a mistake. It should be clause 28. So that would be all on clause 27. The Question could be put on it.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So, on page 35 of the Order Paper, what is written there as item numbered (xi) should be clause 28?

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, rightly so. That should read clause 28. So, I seek that item numbered (xi) should read clause 28. Clause 27 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 28 — Public consultation and notice

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 28, subclause (1), line 1, delete “regional capitals” and insert “relevant communities”.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, and so the new rendition would read

“The Authority shall hold public consultation in the relevant communities within the Northern Development Zone relating to a major project that the Authority plans to implement and shall take into account comments received from the consultations in making the final implementation decision.”

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, please read it again. I believe it is “in all relevant communities” and not “in the relevant communities”. That is what I have here.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, that is correct. So, the new rendition would read: “The Authority shall hold public consultation in all relevant communities within the Northern Development Zone relating to a major project that the Authority plans to implement and shall take into account comments received from the consultations in making the final implementation decision.” Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 28, subclause (2), line 2, delete “date of the”. Mr Speaker, I will refer the House to page 25, paragraph 67 of the Votes and Proceedings of 12th October, 2017. A correction was made, and it, we deleted “shall” and inserted “shall, in not less than seven days before the date of the public consultation”. Mr Speaker, it is in this respect that I seek to delete “date of the”. So, the new rendition would read: “Shall, in not less than seven days before the public consultation.” Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 28 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclause (2), delete. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 30 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Chairman, I believe I am at my endurance, and I would — [Interruption.] Hon Members, I am in charge — [Laughter] — and I am under pressure. So, I proceed to adjourn the House — [Hear! Hear!]

ADJOURNMENT

The House was adjourned at 9.55 p.m. till Friday, 10th November, 2017 at 10.00 a.m.